So, to celebrate 1,000 views on Ichigo Shortcake (wooo!), we’re introducing a new segment in addition to my regular restaurant blog posts: Yuye’s Ramen Corner. As the name suggests, my sidekick Yuye is going to review all about ramen, hand pulled Japanese wheat noodles served in broth with a variety of condiments.
Eating ramen has gathered a bit of a cult following here in Australia as it’s a trendy Japanese food to eat: readily available, pretty filling, not too expensive and quite tasty as well (if you’re lucky). In YRC, we’ll hopefully be looking at ramen served at all sorts of venues, in specialty ramen shops as well as a range of restaurants (up to the super high standards of Ichigo Shortcake, of course).
Today’s featured ramen is none other than the tonkotsu chashu ramen from Ramen-ya, in Melbourne CBD:
For those that don’t know, Ramen-ya is probably the most talked about ramen “joint” in Melbourne that everyone loves to blog about (:D), largely due to the fact that there aren’t many places focused on ramen around (Momotaro ramen on Bridge Rd, Richmond and Ajisen ramen on Russell St, CBD come to mind). Apart from a handful of ramen varieties, Ramen-ya offers a few odd bento sets and japanese snacks, desserts, as well as healthy Japanese beverages such as green tea, ramune and beer.
Patrons sit on planky stools around shiny wooden tables and spaces are limited given its location in a narrow arcade, so expect a wait during peak eating times.
This time, we visited on a late Saturday afternoon with a group of 6 and managed to get a table inside pretty easily.
The tonkotsu chashu ramen is touted as a “House Specialty”, and is available in a set with 3 gyoza and a cup of green tea for a bit less than $20. Pretty good value, and gyoza were decently juicy and meaty, although a bit more vinegar and a bit less sogginess would have gone a long way. The green tea was actually genmai-cha (with toasted rice) served in a sizeable Japanese mug with a nifty ceramic filter.
The ramen itself had a decent amount of chashu, sliced rather thinly and also slightly fatty. It was misleadingly light in colour, but was tender and had ample seasoning. Accompaniments included the usual: naganegi – spring onion, menma – bamboo, kamaboko – fishcake, nori sheets, bean shoots, half of a boiled egg and the unusual choice of beni shoga – pickled ginger normally seen on the likes of katsudon. Egg was overcooked and not of the fantastic runny marinated mirin/shoyu variety, but overall a good package of toppings. Soup unfortunately was a bit salty but otherwise very rich and flavourful.
Overall, pretty darn good value for a sizeable ramen lunch, especially considering its location in the bustling CBD. Incidentally, if ramen isn’t to your tastes (why are you still reading this?) then head next door to Kenzan sushi bar and get your fill of deluxe sushi rolls/onigiris with space age crispy nori technology, served to you by cute sushi girls. In fact, another trip may be in order to get some photos..of sushi…for this blog…
Until next time, happy noogling! (hawhawhaw)
Phone: (03) 9654 5838
Shop 25G Melbourne GPO
350 Bourke St, Melbourne CBD