Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Shoyu Charshu Ramen, $10
Another short trip back to Melbourne and another chance to sample what the city has to offer to the world of ramen. Having done a little research this time, everything seemed to point towards the suitably named Ramenya in equally appropriate Postal Lane, the restaurant area of the GPO running from Bourke St through to Little Bourke. It seems that the noodles could be a major attraction.
We took up a table outside of the store in the lane itself just before the lunchtime rush. It was interesting to see that people have adapted to the notion of ramen as a food that can be enjoyed alone, as dining in Melbourne tends to be more of a social interaction. The Japanesey feel was complete with some heavily pixelated images that resemble the old asahi posters that you see around Tokyo.
When ordering you have the choice of 3 different soup bases (tonkotsu, shoyu and miso) and then you can select from a few different styles including charshu, gyoza and kim chi. I ordered the tonkotsu charshu and received the shoyu one...
It was better than I had anticipated. The only odd ingredient I encountered was beni shoga, A type of pickled ginger that is usually reserved for yakisoba or gyudon. With that soon out of the way, I set upon the rest of the bowl. The shoyu flavour of the chashu itself was particularly strong and the egg perhaps a little overcooked, however this is more likely attributed to the typical Australian's palate rather than a chef's mistake. The interesting gyoza ramen was much the same.
I was quite keen to try the tonkotsu soup as generally this would be the hardest to perfect and, as such, a better indication of the chef's prowess. Miso, however, usually has the widest margin for error so this could be the one to try for the less adventurous. That doesn't mean that the shoyu wasn't finished to the last drop.
This could well be the place to come for the most authentic Japanese ramen in Melbourne. As long as you don't order the kim chi...
Thursday, November 3, 2011
特製醤油らーめん - Special Shoyu Ramen, ￥980
Now that I'm in the middle of a bit of a shio ramen phase, the next obvious step would be to see if I could find another shop in northern Tokyo (lazy) that could match one of my new favourite stores, Hidamali. And so it was off to Yushima, the area full of late-night drinking dens for thirsty salarymen just on the other side of Ueno Park, to join the queue at Daiki.
One of the staff members came to check our tickets while we were waiting and, luckily for our party of two, we were told there was just enough soup for us and the others behind us would have to re-order. Unfortunately a few minutes later there would only be enough for one. So I decided to go with the special shoyu ramen.
As you can imagine, the constant line keeps them busy...
My wait was accompanied by the dulcet tones of Bette Midler's Wind Beneath My Wings which seemed an odd choice. However, as the song seemed to drag on forever, I noticed that it was on a 30 second loop. A peculiar choice of music that these poor souls may have to tolerate all day. As long as it doesn't affect the the ramen....
The last bowl of shio for the day...
And then my shoyu came too.
The shio ramen is the store's recommended dish so I was a little disappointed to have to settle for the shoyu, but it turned out to be a pretty handy consolation. A nice dashi flavoured soup full of surprises.
Wontons! They're not surprises now... Nor are they if you bother to read the menu...
Overall it was a very solid bowl of ramen, but I don't know whether I would wait another 20 minutes in a line only to have to endure Bette Midler again.