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05.12.2023

Ramen in Geneva: street food transformed into an experience

Geneva, often associated with its rich cultural diversity, never ceases to amaze lovers of world cuisine. Among the culinary delights that have captured the hearts of the Swiss is a dish of distant origin. Yet it has become an integral part of the local gastronomic scene: ramen. Let’s delve into the history of this comfort food. Let’s discover how it became part of Geneva’s culinary fabric.

 

The History of Ramen in Geneva

Popular since the 70s

Although their history is controversial, ramen is thought to have originated in China. But like sushi, they were adopted and adapted by Japan. All this happened at the beginning of the last century. The Second World War played a major role in the explosion of its popularity. Indeed, the rice shortage and subsequent adoption of wheat noodles by war veterans returning from China validated their notoriety.

In the 70s, with the arrival of instant noodles, ramen’s popularity exploded. But not yet in Geneva.

These deliciously flexible noodles have evolved over time. They’ve gone from being an affordable working-class or student street food to a culinary masterpiece. With an infinite variety of styles, broths and toppings, ramen has become a gastronomic experience in its own right.

 

Geneva and ramen, an international history

The journey from Asia to Europe took place later than most people think.

 

Pop and street culture…

 

Of working-class and student origins, ramen is associated in Europe with everything that youth culture loves:

A product from Asia
An inexpensive dish
A dish that’s quick to enjoy
An infinite variety of combinations for a personalized menu

Their growing popularity can be dated back to 2019, like Korean K-pop. However, their association is geographically incorrect!

 

…to enter the world of Geneva gastronomy

The history of ramen in Geneva is more than just the importation of a popular Asian dish. It’s really the story of a fusion of flavors and cultures.

The diversity of Geneva’s population has created fertile ground for the emergence of cuisines from all over the world. And ramen is no exception. Very popular in Japan, they are eaten more than sushi. So Japanese visitors to Geneva started asking why it was impossible to find ramen! In 2014, the first ramen restaurant opened in Geneva: it was called Yukigini. Only a score of others would follow.

degustation de ramen à Genève

 

What kind of ramen can you eat in Geneva?

Ramen is a specialty based on wheat noodles cooked in a meat or fish broth. These noodles are then garnished with vegetables, meat (pork, chicken), seafood and pickled eggs.

 

Noodles

Have you ever heard of soba noodles? They’re made from buckwheat flour or a mixture of buckwheat and wheat. Or Udon noodles, sticky, pale wheat noodles?

In reality, ramen noodles are neither. It’s a fairly thin, smooth or wavy wheat noodle made from wheat flour, water, salt and kansui. This alkaline agent gives the dough its light yellow color and distinctive texture.

 

A variety of toppings

Boiled or grilled meat, shrimp, vegetables, marinated or soft-boiled eggs… ramen comes with a wide range of toppings. Nori seaweed, bamboo shoots and soybean sprouts are also used.

 

Broths make ramen!

But it’s the broths that give ramen its identity. Here are the best-known types:

Shoyu Ramen, made with soy (reputed to be the oldest)
Shio Ramen, made with a light, salty broth (the most popular)
Tonkotsu Ramen, made with pork-bone broth marinated for hours. (the thickest)
Miso Ramen, made with fermented beans
Gyokai Ramen, made with seafood or fish
Tan Tan ramen, rich in spices

More recently, Curry ramen has emerged. But above all, it’s the cultures and raw materials that drive the evolution of our offer.

 

Many ways to enjoy

You’ll find different names for ramen, depending on how you eat it.

In fact, ramen can be eaten with the broth on the side. But also without broth. Or with grilled noodles.

In short, there’s something for everyone!

 

The Ramen Experience at Confédération Centre Genève

Umamido quickly followed in the footsteps of Geneva’s first ramen restaurant.

Since 2017, the Brussels-born brand has set down its chopsticks in the French-speaking capital. The Confération Centre restaurant, right in the middle of the Spoon Food Hall, delights us every day. Its menus are prepared to the minute for the neighborhood’s workers and shopping fans.

At Umamido, the bowls of ramen and other side dishes are super gourmet and well worth the wait! Count on just over 20 chf for a complete dish.

But if you prefer not to wait, you can also order online!

Discover the authenticity of ramen at this restaurant. Don’t be fooled! It serves hearty bowls with rich broths and perfectly prepared noodles.

Confédération Centre reflects the world’s culinary richness in every respect. So it’s hardly surprising that ramen has pride of place here, to delight young and old alike, just like at home!

Have you never tried ramen before, or are you tempted by a new take on this comforting dish? Don’t hesitate to visit us for an exceptional Asian experience!