Ocha Ramen, a ramen and noodle restaurant on Grindstone Parkway, opened its doors this summer and offers authentic Thai-inspired ramen dishes.
Owner Sittiporn Kanthabanjong, who goes by Jenny, has lived in Columbia for four years and realized there wasn’t an authentic Thai ramen restaurant, so she decided to open one herself. “My family back in Thailand had a restaurant for a very long time, so I grew up in the restaurant industry,” Jenny says.
Ocha means delicious in Thai, she says. The most popular dishes include Spicy Miso Ramen made with homemade chili oil and topped with pork, fish cakes, mushrooms, cabbage, bamboo shoots, green onions, boiled egg and nori and the Double Noodle, which is a mix of Pad Thai and Yellow Curry and is topped with grilled chicken, fresh ginger, shallots, pickled cabbage and more. They also have non-ramen offerings including curry gyoza and edamame. The dishes and recipes behind them at Ocha Ramen drew inspiration from Jenny’s parents’ restaurant in Bangkok. “I used all the experience from growing up in a restaurant to create my recipes,” she says.
The restaurant is decorated with minimalistic black and white patterns and greenery and has traditional Asian drinks available in the wall-long coolers.