As a child I’ve always wanted a cupboard under the stairs so I can hide there when I’m sad, or play hide and seek with my friends. But the harsh reality was, we always lived in a single storey house. While many of my friends had that luxury, I could only go to their houses to enjoy theirs. Now that I have my own house with my own stairs, I still don’t actually have a cupboard there as the space is taken up by shelves. But of course, I’ve already outgrown that desire to have anything to do with that cupboard, apart from storing my vacuum cleaner perhaps.
Visiting Little Ramen Bar somehow brought back that childhood memory because its size really did remind me of that cupboard under the stairs. It’s actually quite common in Asia due to the limited space but we rarely see them in Melbourne. Due to its size, there will always be a line outside.
I know I’ve mentioned that we love the thick style tonkotsu ramen soup, but sometimes a slightly thinner soup is also good, like for when I’m not as hungry. In fact many people actually don’t like that really thick consistency because it is quite filling and oily so many ramen joints actually offer the lighter soup option.
Little Ramen Bar serve up lighter style ramen which at the time of opening was one of the best ramens in Melbourne. We ordered Sapporo on tap and a Suntori Premium. I love places that serve alcohol with the ramen as it really cleanses the palate after all the oiliness and saltiness.
Yuye ordered the chashu tamago combo which came with tonkotsu soup, slices of pork, one whole egg, bamboo shoots, seaweed and spring onions. You would have noticed that he also added another whole egg…yes just one egg is never enough. The soup was quite tasty but light, it was covered in garlic and what seemed like fat pieces which we liked but I know some people might not appreciate. The chashu was cooked well, the egg was marinated and the yolk still gooey so overall not a bad ramen but definitely not the best I’ve had and now there are quite a few ramen joints around Melbourne that serve a better tonkotsu soup.
I ordered Hokkaido ramen which came with mixed veggies, 1 piece of chashu, butter and corn in a miso tonkotsu soup. I wasn’t too sure about the butter really. I’ve had it when I was in Japan so it seemed nostalgic but butter just makes the soup extra oily and a bit a heavy. I also added an egg, because you know, how can you have ramen without ramen egg?
We also ordered gyoza, but when it came out there was only five on the plate. The waitress explained that they had broken one so gave us five instead and at no charge. If we wanted one more, we’d have to pay for a new plate. I couldn’t say no to free gyoza, even if it was one short. The gyoza were a little more plump than some others and the skin seemed a bit thicker but the filling was just average.
Overall we had a good experience here. If you don’t need to wait too long, then the meal is worthwhile, but if you had to wait a bit longer, I would suggest going to Hakata Gensuke down the road because the soup there is thicker, porkier and a lot better in my humble opinion, even if you had to wait half an hour. If you cannot be bothered waiting for so long or if you’re in Little Ramen Bar’s part of town, a visit is still recommended.
Little Ramen Bar
Phone: (03) 9670 5558
Address: 346 Little Bourke St Melbourne, VIC 3000
Opening Hours: Monday to Thursday 11:50am – 2:30pm, 5:30pm – 9:00pm, Friday and Saturday 11:50am – 2:30pm, 5:30pm – 9:30pm, Sunday and Public Holidays CLOSED