Ramen noodles close-up - Ramen Ya
I think I got too excited that a new Japanese ramen shop has opened in Melbourne, and right in the middle of town in the GPO shopping centre.
Touting itself as "Melbourne's Tastiest Japanese Noodles", the place was quiet in comparison to Kenzan GPO next door, where there were Japanese ladies dining, compared to mostly Aussies and Asians at Ramen-ya.
I ordered their specialty, Charshu Pork Ramen with Tonkotsu soup. First impressions were good. The soup was indeed milky and rich, but I didn't detect the garlicky overtones that I love in a Tonkotsu soup. No matter, a quick sprinkle of pepper helped. At least the pepper was fresh.
The best part was the Charshu pork. It was good flavoursome belly pork with streaky fat that melts in your mouth. It can't beat the charshu in Japan, which is stronger tasting, even a little gamey, but, we're not in Japan.
I was curious why, in addition to chilli oil and Japanese shichimi 7-spiced chilli, there was a pot of vinegary chilli paste that looked like sambal oelek with shichimi. It didn't go well with noodles :)
Speaking of noodles, the sign claims that they are authentic ramen, made from scratch to a traditional Japanese recipe. A pity, that they were not as smooth, nor as chewy as a good ramen should be. I prefer the ramen at Momotaro, also house-made from scratch. Ajisen Ramen probably uses commercially made noodles that were better.
Would I go back? Yes, I probably would. It is Tonkotsu Ramen after all, and for under AUD10!
Shop 25G Melbourne's GPO
350 Bourke St, Melbourne 3000
- Charshu Pork Ramen with Tonkotsu Soup - AUD9.80