Tag Archives : ramen

Ajisen Ramen, Burwood Rd., Hawthorn { Melbourne Food Review } 3

(Chasyu ramen at Ajisen Ramen in Hawthorn)

It is a fact of life that all good things must come to an end. And so my year of maternity leave is over and I am now back at work. As much as I really enjoy working, I have no time to even eat out as much, let alone keeping this blog updated.

But try, I must. And happily, I would like to welcome 2012 with an annoucement that I have found The Best Ramen In Melbourne. So far anyway.

Now I know what you think. Ajisen? Chain ramen? Pah! But really, this Ajisen is so different from all the Ajisen ramen I have had (and I have had them in four different countries including the one in Melbourne CBD).

(Ajisen Hawthorn menu)

We went to Ajisen Ramen in Hawthorn because it is basically the closest ramen joint to us and one weeknight when I have a craving for ramen (I do that), I decided that we should give this new(ish) joint a go. It was rather quiet with only one or two patrons. I suspect that, being near Swinburne University and right at the lobby of UniLodge, it does a bit more roaring trade during the lunch hours.

Ajisen does their ramen Kumamoto style – that is, with tonkotsu broth (rich, white, pork bone broth) that has been cut with a little bit of chicken stock. The result is a lovely well balance broth that, while fairly rich and fragrant with its pork fat glory (yes, I said pork fat glory, get over it), is not so stickly fatty and rich that you feel ill after two spoonfuls (though admittedly I have absolutely no issue putting away a large bowl of one.)

Josh went for the Chasyu ramen ($11) which turned out to be the absolutely correct choice. The broth was delicious. Excellent balance between great flavours and not too salty or rich. The noodle was bitey and firm. The roast pork, or chashu, was so meltingly tender and just so damn perfect. The crunchy wood ear strips provided a great balance of texture. The egg was just a touch too well done for my liking but I’m happy to report that I have been back twice since and the egg is now perfectly soft boiled.

What a great bowl of ramen.

(Volcano ramen – $12?)

Unfortunately for me though, on our first trip, because I was in a mood for spicy ramen, I ordered their Volcano ramen. It was a mistake. The Ajisen volcano sauce in this instance was so overpoweringly spicy and bitter than it completely ruined the dish. (more…)

Yamagoya Ramen, Thong Lor, Bangkok { Bangkok Food Review } 3

perfect soft boiled seasoned egg at Yamagoya Ramen in Bangkok

Do you know how many Japanese there are in Melbourne?

About 5,000.

Do you know how many Japanese there are in Bangkok?

About 50,000.

Does this mean that, in probablity terms, there are ten times the likelihood of finding better ramen in Bangkok? Probably. I don’t know. What I do know though, and there I go again with post spoilers, that Yamagoya Ramen on Thong Lor does a pretty damn good tonkotsu ramen and definitely a place to check out while you’re in town.

Yamagoya Ramen

Look at the pictures, people!

So back in the days of gallavanting Bangkok earlier in June this year, I said to a few of my Japanophile foodie friends/relatives (luckily, I have quite a few)  ‘please take me to a really good ramen shop.’

The amazing coincidence was that three of them rang and wanted to take us to Yamagoya Ramen on the same day. Loving ramen as much as I do, I would have totally been willing to eat ramen for breakfast, lunch and dinner. But unfortunately that was the day after our visit to Nahm. Though went to Yamagoya for lunch, we did. But only just one meal (insert sighs of disappointment here).

The inside of Yamagoya Ramen on Thong Lor Bangkok

Yamagoya Ramen Thong Lor is one of the six branches of a ramen chain operation in Bangkok. It is situated not very far from Japan Village – a concentration of all things Japanese in Bangkok. We got there just before noon on purpose because the place gets quite busy and, according to my fussy uncle, the first broth of day is best. (more…)

Momotaro Rahmen, Bridge Rd., Richmond { Melbourne Food Review } 6

Vegetable vegetarian ramen at Momotaro Rahmen

Momotaro Rahmen is a small Japanese noodle bar on Bridge Road that is well known by the Richmond locals for serving up cheap, tasty and massive bowls of ramen. The cafe is not terribly big and I’m told it suffers from overcrowding at the peak dining periods but luckily, as a MOLWL (mummy of leisure who lunches) I have always managed to get there very late in the afternoon of a week day and never had trouble trying to fit a pram in there. The staff had also been very lovely at accomodating Mini Me.

Momotato Rahmen - A Japanese Noodle Bar on Bridge Road, Richmond

I have already made a few visits to Momotaro Rahmen who, judging by their logo, seemed to be named after the famous Japanese folklore about a baby boy who was found floating down a river in a giant peach (and you thought Roald Dahl was being original when he wrote James and the Giant Peach) and kept going back for its serves of satisfying bowls of tonkotsu broth and their homemade noodles.

tonkotsu ramen at momotaro rahmen on bridge rd in Richmond

(Ramen with tonkotsu broth – a milky white broth made from pork bones – $13?)

Momotaro Rahmen’s menu consists of largely of ramen and a few Japanese favourites such as Japanese curries, teriyaki and salads. Momotaro offers their ramen in five different broths – shoyu (Japanese soy sauce), miso, shio (salt), tonkotsu (pork bones) and vegetarian with various selection of toppings such as vegetables, chashu (roast pork), boiled egg and seafood. But what is really special about Momotaro Rahmen is that they have a dedicated vegetarian menu and serve their ramen in vegetable broth when requested. Now we know how rare this is for Japanese cuisine where almost everything contains dashi, a stock made from dried fish and seaweed. This makes my vego friends very happy indeed.

Vegetarian ramen at Momotaro Rahmen

(Vegetable ramen – $12?)

On this occasion, I arrived at Momotaro with Mini Me in tow to meet with my friend, Nat who I have previously introduced to Momotaro and has become a regular.

Nat orders her usual of vegetable ramen – I had a taste of the broth. It was lovely enough as far as a vegetarian broth goes. But let’s face it – if the folks at the Momofuku lab can’t make a great vegetarian broth, I can’t really expect it to be as good as my order of tonkotsu broth.

(The bowl is bigger than the baby! Okay, not really.)

Momotaro Rahmen’s rendition of this famous Japanese porky broth is rather light compared to the usual thick, gelatinious version served up everywhere in Japan. Which, to be perfectly honest, is just as well since the bowl is so eye poppingly big (and I am from the ‘you must finish the broth’ school). It comes with a large slice of roast pork which I found to have improved since my last visit (I didn’t like it very much the first few visits), half a boiled egg and lots of vegetables. The whole dish felt very healthy and rather light. Yes you will be rather full but it’s not that terrible sick feeling that you get after a very large bowl of traditional tonkotsu ramen. That’s not to say I don’t love the traditional tonkotsu ramen. I really do but I appreciate Momotaro Rahmen’s version despite its lack of traditional tonkotsu characteristics.

Momotaro vegetarian gyoza

(Vegetarian gyoza – with a mixture of chick pea, cabbage, spinach, etc. – $7?)

The vegetarian gyoza on the other hand was just disappointing. The filling combo just simply didn’t work and neither of us enjoyed it. I think it’s safe to say no chick pea belongs in a gyoza.

Having visited Momotaro a few times, I have tried their miso and shoyu broths as well as curry and teriyaki. I have to say I have exceeding preference for their tonkotsu ramen and will happily go back for my ramen fill there. It is a nice little place for a hearty, healty large bowl of soups, if nothing else.

And let’s face it, if it’s noodle and it’s in a decent broth? I’m there.

Momotaro Rahmen
Address: 392 Bridge Rd Richmond VIC 3121 [ Google Map ]
Phone: (03) 9421 1661

Momotaro Rahmen on Urbanspoon

Food, Love & Japan: the Ramen Edition 6

best ever tonkotsu ramen in Osaka

Let me start with a corny haiku I wrote a long time ago for ramen.

I cuddle your warmth
And savour your essence
You flow lovingly

That was the first, and last, haiku I have ever written. I’ve never fancied myself a poet – let’s face it – there is no talent in that department. In fact, I didn’t even get the number of syllables right for a proper haiku. But that’s not what’s important. What is important here is I am about to tell about all the ramen we ate in Japan.

ramen & fried rice for 500 yen

(A lunch deal we couldn’t resist in Asakusa, Tokyo)

Hungry, cold and slightly lost while trying to find Sensoji (Yes, the big huge temple you couldn’t possibly miss. Yes, we did miss it), we stumbled upon a sign that read… well we don’t know what it read. All we saw was a picture of a ramen and a fried rice. Who were we to tempt fate.

negi ramen

(Negi ramen)

Josh had wanted the negi ramen – with shoyu base soup and finely sliced Japanese leek. Delicious. (more…)

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