I loveee Asian food all types and a lot of it! When I found this place called Buya in downtown St.Pete I fell in love immediately. It’s a Japanese ramen and izakaya restaurant. I remember growing up eating ramen noodles as something quick and “oh so delicious”, but what was izakaya? No worries Google knows everything, izakaya is a bar type of restaurant that serves small, usually inexpensive dishes to accompany drinking. Or what I would call tapas or side dishes, amazingness. Husband and I decided to check it out on a Monday night. When we arrived, the outside was very dark, not much writing or anything that looked like a restaurant, we walked right passed it. When we walked inside to our surprise it was very busy, that’s always good. We were checking the place out, it had dimmed lights inside, candles, nice hipster vibe and music. The tables were super cute wood and their silverware was a big wooden spoon and chopsticks. When we try new places we like to order a couple different plates just to cover as much that we possibly can from the menu, usually one appetizer and two main dishes.
We started with our izakaya plate. Pork belly buns, roasted pork belly pickled cucumber and sriracha aioli. Literally, this was the most amazing thing that my taste buds have experienced! It was a combination of fatty pork and the spicy sriracha sauce that made my taste buds explode! Ok, keep it coming! We next tried the braised short rib ramen and seafood ramen. They both had very different tastes but equally perfect. Good amount of chunky meat, a mixture of seafood, all accompanied by herbs, seasoning and even an egg. The braised short rib ramen was tonkotsu based which is a very famous Japanese stock in which pork bones are boiled for hours. The short rib was very tender, juicy and appealing. The broth had a subtle taste but combined with the short rib, ramen and my favorite scallions it all came together greatly. The seafood ramen was miso based which is a traditional Japanese seasoning produced by fermenting soybean with salt and koji, this is then diluted with water to create miso soup. Doesn’t sound too tasty but I can have miso soup all by itself anytime! It had char grilled shrimp, sea scallops, lump crab and oyster mushrooms. All very tasty reminding me of back home as it tasted like paella, a famous seafood dish.
All of this left us not only full and satisfied but happy. I don’t remember when was the last time food made me so happy. This little place we didn’t know anything about has turned your everyday microwaveable ramen into a gourmet meal. And there we were eating ramen at a restaurant. The next few days we were left talking about it and craving ramen. We shall be back and very soon, thank you Buya!!
Location: 911 Central Avenue, St. Petersburg, FL 33705
Hours: Sunday-Thursdays 11AM-10PM & Friday-Saturdays 11am-11pm
Happy Hour: Monday-Fridays 4PM-7PM
Ph: (727) 202-7010