You can’t swing a chorizo around here without hitting a ramen bar. It’s inevitable, food trends like ramen or the craft coffee craze that take over capitals such as New York and London inevitably spill over into secondary markets. Berlin is an eager early adopter while Barcelona takes its time, too busy enjoying the perpetual sunshine with a vermut in one hand.
Ramen ya hiro is the original ramen bar of Barcelona and still probably the best but you have to be ok with waiting in line, even in the winter, even for lunch. It’s nice to have choices: there is Tonkotsu up in Eixample and then further down – Koku on one side of the Ramblas and now Grasshopper on the other.
Grasshopper is a straight forward affair (my favourite kind): a long bar with a kitchen at the far end. The menu is a choice of 3 ramens (€8.25): Shio, Shoyu and Miso. All three come with all the trimmings: fatty pork belly, half a soft boiled egg, bamboo and a sheet of nori. There are also gyoza (€5.95) which is the one dumpling type that Barcelona has publicly embraced. I think – these are the best gyoza to be had in the city. They are crispy, the filling is flavourful while not being overly fatty and the dipping sauce is good enough to drink.
Craft beers and Fentimans drinks give your palette a welcome break from the salty broth. And…well…you just slurp and watch, slurp and watch until you reach the bottom of the bowl.