We’ve all gone a bit ramen mad. Myself included.Β So it should be no surprise that I find myself at Ramen Ikkyu like the rest of the other mad hatters. There has been a lot of hype surrounding this place with us ramenites counting down the days until its launch, ready to dive in and test the waters.

It is now 4 weeks since its opening day and the aim of the game is to sell 150 bowls of ramen a day. If they sell out then they shut up shop. No matter what time of day it is. Noodles are hand made by Chef Haru himself and are aged for 2 days. Hurrahh… While their signature broth is prepared in 160 litre pots filled with chicken and pork bones – referred to as their paitan broth.

To back track, Chef Haru Inukai started serving ramen as a lunch special back when he was the Head Chef of BlancHaru. The ramen special was so popular it caught on to the likes of fellow ramen lover Chef Dan Hong who notably sung its praises. It was no sooner that the public caught on to the cult of BlancHaru’s ramen that there were lines forging its way down Elizabeth Bay Road. It was then Chef Haru decided to give it all up and go all guns blazing to open up his very own ramen house.

shoyu ramen 2 ramen ikkyu

cue

I arrive with Tina (bitemeshowme) for lunch and it is no mistaking where Ramen Ikkyu is. It is hidden by a very long line!!

What you see here is a 20 minute wait. It’s so deep I can hardly make out the menu board!

menu

touch screen

When you arrive at the counter, there is a touchscreen ordering system that takes your order. By this point, the line has given us enough time to make up our minds. You tap your order, pay and step to the side. Then you wait for your number to be called which seems like an eternity because all you want is your ramen, ramen, ramen!!!

shoyu ramen 1

I order the ikkyu shoyu ramen ($10.50), the signature dish. The broth is quite spectacular with the mixture of pork and chicken flavours that rests lovingly along your lips. The noodles are softer and remarkably smooth that its slips quickly on its way down. My hero is the cha shu with its 50/50 split between meat and fat. What is most striking about the pork is the caramelised ends boasting honeyed tips on the soft crust. Additions of black fungus and bamboo shoots are the real deal showcasing more intensity and bite.

shoyu ramen 2

miso ramen

Tina (bitemeshowme) takes on the ikkyu miso ramen ($10.50). Tina seemed pretty happy with her bowl of ramen (see post). However, I found it a bit rich and heavy for my liking and very much preferred my bowl instead.

miso - tina fpn

One thing that I noticed when Tina was eating her ramen was her technique used to eat it. It is the most adorable thing I have ever seen. She pulls the noodles towards her, places it in her soup spoon and spins it around like spaghetti with her chopsticks, with the chopsticks going round and round in circles. It is seriously so cute I had to make her do it again and again!

Ramen Ikkyu serves up some pretty mean ramen at a ridiculously low price point. So its easy to understand what the fuss is about. Β If you’re hungry for more, you can help yourself to some free ramen. Β You will just have to provide a copy of you docket and ensure you have left over broth to soak it up.

Ramen Ikkyu
Shop F1A, Sussex Centre Food Court
401 Sussex Street
Sydney NSW 2000
Tel: + 612Β 9281 0998

http://menikkyu.com.au

Ramen Ikkyu on Urbanspoon

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Comments
  1. Tina @ bitemeshowme says:

    … and now everyone knows my secret as to how to eat ramen! Thanks for coming out to lunchhhhhhhhhhhh!

  2. Yes, everyone has gone a tad ramen mad! I think I’ll wait for the novelty to subside with this place. That’s if I can bear waiting!

  3. Miss Piggy says:

    WOW, what a queue. I’d like to go here…but I think I’ll wait til some of the madness dies down (though this would be a GOOD time to head to Gumshara right given all of the Ramen lovers are at Ikkyu).

  4. Haha I eat ramen the same way! It’s so much easier to shove the spoon in your mouth then battle endless oodles of noodles πŸ˜› I’ll definitely be visiting Ikkyu during semester some time soon!

  5. grabyourfork says:

    I love that he makes his own noodles here. Here’s hoping the queues settle down soon! lol

  6. i’ve don’t remember seeing this much hype for ramen before lol. i reckon the daily limit of 150 ramen bowls have increased because i was still able to order at 7pm or 7:30pm on a friday over the last few weeks

  7. I went just a few days ago! I don’t think it’s worth the hype (and wouldn’t queue up if I happened to be at the end of it) but the extra kaedama may see me coming back πŸ˜‰

    150 bowls of ramen doesn’t seem to be a viable business model (if you have the option of making more at your whim)…

    • Really?? Which one did u have? I really liked the ikkyu shoyu one. Miso didn’t really do it for me tho

      • I had the shoyu as well as the miso (not all of both bowls hahahaha). The Ikkyu shoyu actually reminds me a bit of the ramen at Ryo’s, except with less oil and a much, much subtler flavour. As such, it’s the broth that doesn’t actually do it for me.

        The miso I agree is quite heavy, though I guess introducing gumshara into the equation really shakes it up a bit.

        Though I’m not a big fan of the broth at Ikkyu, I sure do love their noodles – hand made = awesome.

        I’m going to go again to try out two of their Tokyo-style ramen just to see what the other side’s like πŸ™‚

        I’ll say this though – having all this ramen recently is tempting me to go back to Japan again! The ramen there is absolutely /untouchable/ (emphasis!)

    • I hear you but I read in an article that in his BlancHaru days that the restaurant didn’t generate as much interest as the ramen. He found that his prev business model wasn’t sustainable which drove him to open this up. So it must have been worth the risk to walk away?

      • Judging from the lines outside Ikkyu I think it’s definitely attracting more attention than BlancHaru – a sign of the changing times I think.

        Before, the concept of rather exotic Japanese/French fusion would have been exciting (and it still is), but ramen is just so much more accessible. In addition, with the recent influx of ramen coming in (Ippudo, Hakata-Maru, Ikkyu), plus the resurgence of media and underground coverage of existing ramen shops (Gumshara/Menya/Kan never get old), Ikkyu was poised to do very well.

        I still wonder why he would stop at 150 if there’s the potential to do more – at around $11 a bowl, that can’t be a lot of profit.

        Does wonders for buzz though!

        Personally, Ikkyu’s ramen isn’t /particularly/ striking, though I do want to extensively try out their menu – namely, the Tokyo-style ramen (having tried two Ikkyu-style ones on my first visit).

  8. Dear Priscilla,

    You must be Sydney’s ramen review queen! The ikkyu shoyu looks really good and if I do go I would try that too.

    I do agree with Michael’s comment that 150 bowls a day equates to $1,500 in sales, how can that cover rent and wages let alone all the variable costs? Also, why wouldn’t he make more without compromising quality if the queues and demand warrant it? Doesn’t quite make business sense to me.

    • hahaha lol Priscilla queen of the Ramen! I hear what you’re saying but I know back in his BlancHaru days that the restaurant didn’t generate as much interest as the ramen. He found that his prev business model wasn’t sustainable which drove him to open this up. Ramen Ikkyu is also highly self service type model but at the end of the day. We will never know!!!

  9. Ramen Raff says:

    Glad you like ikkyu πŸ™‚ the noodles and pork are definitely the stars on those bowls.

  10. Soth says:

    I’ve never had ramen (don’t shoot me) but this makes me want to try. Handmade ramen? Yes please! The self ordering counter is also rather handy and clever.

  11. thesuzchef says:

    I loved the noodles at Ikkyu – definitely a point of difference. I also loved the bewildered expressions on the faces of other shop owners in the food court – they seem completely at loss at why this newbie store is so popular!

  12. milkteaxx says:

    wahhh the crowd! i dont think ill ever get there if he only sells 150 bowls a day!

  13. so many ramen place are popping out like babies! lol @ your attraction to Tina’s noodle eating methodology lol

  14. peachcordial says:

    I’m on board the crazy-ramen-train! My fave by far is Hakata ramen (at the moment) LOL.

    My boyfriend does exactly the same as what Tina does… Just with a fork! Believe it or not he’s Vietnamese and doesn’t know how to use a pair of chopsticks.

  15. Lucky you!!! I have to go try these ramen…! Must find some way to convince my better half to give ramen another chance after a much disastrous trip at Gumshara’s!

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