Indulge in Awesome Japanese Food in Bhutan

On our various visits to the first ramen joint in Thimphu, we have seen Japanese diners as well as Bhutanese families stopping by for a taste of their noodle soup.

Ebi fry (fried prawn) at Hayate Restaurant. (Source: www.drukasia.com)

 

Sayaka Sakuri and Tshering are the founders of Hayate, which means “to generate new wind” in Japanese.

On our various visits to the first ramen joint in Thimphu, we have seen Japanese diners as well as Bhutanese families stopping by for a taste of their noodle soup.

Sayaka has a talent for hosting. She remembers her customer’s preferences and will customise a dish to suit their likes and dislikes. It may seem a small thing to swap out shredded spring onions for cabbage over a bowl of ramen, but such considerate touches add to the welcoming atmosphere at Hayate.

 

 

You can start off a meal at Hayate with some tempting appetizers. There is a wonderful Shredded Chicken Salad with a delicious dressing (150nu) as well as a scrumptious Ebi fry (fried prawn) (210nu) which also comes with a side of their salad, as well as a mayonnaise dipping sauce. 

 

 

Using locally sourced ingredients 

Now for the restaurant’s staple and speciality: Ramen. Ingredients for the noodle are locally sourced, and the rich pork bone broth with cabbage (300nu) was a delight, especially on cold winter days. There are also several additional toppings, Ezzay, Bhutanese pepper and Japanese pickled ginger to go with the ramen.

 

 

For those who do not take pork, the more delicate broth of the local chicken ramen (300nu) is very easy on the taste buds. There are also other tasty soup options such as their miso ramen (with a refreshing addition of beansprouts) and a spicier tan tan noodle (300nu).

 

                  

 

But for those who do not enjoy noodle as much as rice, there is also a Chasu don (braised marinated pork with rice), priced at: small 100nu, medium 150nu big 250nu. The Chasu don is very filling with a generous portion of pork. Hence you will leave Hayate feeling contented no matter what size you order.

Do note that there are not many vegetarian options available. However, a vegetable gyoza, salad with rice, or tan tan noodle are satisfactory meal options.

Delicious chiffon cake on the menu

Hayate has a notice board with a takeout menu, where they also advertise their spongy soft chiffon cake (flavours include banana, green tea, cocoa, plain and a combination of any 2 flavours). It costs 600nu for 1 whole cake. In addition, the notice board also has newspaper articles about their opening hours and a toddler playgroup.

To encourage repeat visitors, Hayate has a card and stamp system. After you earn ten stamps, you get a free bowl of ramen!

Hayate is very family friendly with a kid’s menu and a small toddler play area in a separate dining extension which can comfortably seat 16 adults.

Overall, Hayate’s presence in the Thimphu dining scene really brings a breath of fresh air.

 

Written by Ugyen.C  for the New Bhutan Times.


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