When we set out for an adventure across countries like Denmark and Finland one thing we weren’t expecting to encounter were delicious Nordic twists on international fare like ramen and tacos. While we anticipated indulging in tasty regional Scandinavian dishes like toast skagen in Sweden, we never imagined we’d be raving about tender barbacoa tacos from Hija de Sanchez in Copenhagen. We had a similar reaction when we stumbled upon a fresh take on Japanese style ramen at Fat Ramen in Helsinki, Finland.
Tucked away in the corner of Helsinki’s Hietalahti Market Hall, Fat Ramen combines Asian and Nordic flavors and whips them up into some pretty rad noodle bowls. Co-founded by Marcos Gois and Otto Sarpaniemi Fat Ramen isn’t simply trying to mimic traditional Japanese ramen. Instead Fat Ramen focuses more on developing it own unique style with a focus on making everything from scratch using local seasonal ingredients. Starters and sides at Fat Ramen range from kimchi and wakame salad to a romaine salad with chickpeas “hozon” and edamame beans with dill oil.
Ramen bowl offerings include, “the fat,” which is made with tonkotsu broth, pork belly, pork neck and one half of a pickled egg. There’s also a chicken lemon bowl, ginger salmon and even a smokey duck bowl. (Vegeterian options like the Jalotofu are also on the menu.) We arrived for a late lunch and swooped in on Fat Ramen’s spicy garlic tonkotsu. Our bowl was filled with tonkotsu broth, handmade noodles, a generous portion of pork belly and a nice dollop of spicy homemade Sriracha sauce that some serious bite to it.
The fast casual noodle bar is in a prime spot for people watching. Hietalahti Market Hall has plenty of foot traffic and food stalls to keep you entertained during your lunch hour.
If seating is a bit crowded, you can pop upstairs for tables with an eagle’s eye view of the market activity.
Fat Ramen’s noodle bowls put a decidedly Nordic twist on a traditional Japanese dish. The bowl offer you an easy way to fuel up quickly while also affording you the opportunity to soak in some of Helsinki’s foodie culture.
Address: Hietalahti Market Hall
Lönnrotinkatu 34, Helsinki
Hours: Monday Through Thursday 11:00am to 4:00pm, Friday and Saturday 11:00am to 4:00pm and 5:00pm to 9:30pm
Phone: +358 400 988 511
Prices (All in Euros): Kimchi €3,50, Salads €4,00 to €5,00, Edamame Beans €6,00, Ramen Bowls €11,00 to €14,00