I often get asked to recommend Japanese restaurants in Ireland. Well I think I may have found a little gem and I’m so excited to share it here with all of you. I came across Bia Rebel when they ordered “Fused by Fiona Uyema” soy sauce for their ramen noodle shop. After chatting to co-founder Jenny Holland I was eager to share this story with you.
Bia Rebel – Ramen and Noodle Shop – , Belfast, Northern Ireland, is a relevantly new venture. At weekends, they sell ramen at St George’s Market in Belfast. They have plans to expand and I’ve no doubt there will be an appetite for it. Bia Rebel’s ramen noodles are hand-made and use high quality local ingredients. It’s a delicious, wholesome meal, in a bowl.
Bia Rebel is driven by the culinary skills of Brian Donnelly, who worked for Gordon Ramsey, Gary Rhodes and Michel Roux, Jr. in London, and who later was head chef at Thornton’s in Dublin when the restaurant received its second Michelin star.
Brian believes that “the way we have been growing, selling and consuming food for the last 30 years has done a lot of harm, many folks have forgotten what real food tastes like. It’s my job to put the good stuff in front of as many people as possible, so hopefully they’ll start expecting better all round”. I hope you can see me nodding in agreement!
So how did Bia Rebel Ramen Noodle Shop come about? Brian was inspired by Tokyo’s ramen culture, and by the similarities between traditional Japanese ingredients and traditional Irish ones: seaweed, fish, pork and mushrooms. So he looked for a good local noodle supplier, and not finding one anywhere in the UK or Ireland, decided to make his own.
According to Brian, ramen is great because it allows you to create something completely unique, in a single taste.
I’m already planning a trip to try Bia Rebel ramen. I’ll keep you posted!