Posts Tagged ‘Ramen’

Shoryu Ramen was launched in November 2012 by the team at Japan Centre and Shoryu have quickly gained a following for their ramen. They now have locations spread across Carnaby, Regent St and Soho. If ramen wasn’t enough, they also dish up the very popular hirata buns, sushi, sashimi and yakitori as part of their sides menu. Recommended in the Michelin Guide 2014 and 2015, Shoryu have come head to head with the likes of Bone Daddies and Tonkostu Ramen. These are the three amigos that are dominating the Soho food scene with their ramen. What makes Shoryu really special is that they specialise in the Hakata style tonkotsu ramen from the Hakata district of Fukuoka city of Japan. They promise that this is a bonafide tonkotsu ramen which you will rarely find outside of Japan. Thanks to Executive Chef Kanji Furukawa, who was born and raised from the region. Londoners can now enjoy the Hakata style ramen made with a thick, rich, white pork soup and thin, straight ramen noodles. This style of ramen is my absolute favourite, so I am really looking forward to see what Shoryu has to offer.

barbeque char siu pork hirata buns

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We’ve all gone a bit ramen mad. Myself included. 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

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Ramen has the power to polarise people to cause widespread debate on “Where to find the best ramen?” and boy will we hunt it down. It is Japanese soul food at its core and has developed from the humble streets of Japan to achieve a cult-like status.

Since its grand opening, Ippudo has been hot on everyones lips.

“Is it as good as they say?” (See previous post).

Whether you agree or disagree, Ippudo has to be said and done.

I was invited to return to Ippudo to take on a crash course ramen 101 session and to learn more about the Ippudo experience. There was also the offer to try all their ramen. How could I refuse.

Dress with expandable waistline?? Check!

collage fpn

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Ippudo has quickly become to what some would consider as legend. Conquering the likes of New York, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Seoul, Shanghai. Ippudo has firmly found its place in Sydney’s Westfield. Since its opening it has quickly drawn in the crowds and cult following with its signature ramen and pork buns.

ippudo - close ramen

Ippudo specialises in Tonkostu ramen and offers up 3 variations of this:

  • Akamaru shinaji (above): the recipe is 25 years old and includes miso, garlic oil, pork belly, black mushrooms, bean sprouts and shallots – the Tonkotsu broth is slow cooked with pork bones to add extra depth of flavour
  • Shiromaru motoaji: Tonkotsu broth served with Hakata ultra thin noodles and includes pork loin, black mushrooms, cabbage & shallots
  • Karaka men: Tonkotsu broth with Hakata wavy noodles and includes spicy miso paste with ground pork

You can also specify the firmness of your noodles from “soft, medium or firm”. Which is funny because as a child I loved them soggy but as I have gotten older, I have graduated up to medium and now firm. I love a firm texture! They recommend having it firm but I wonder, how do you like your ramen?

akamaru w flavoured egg

Having tried 2 out of 3 Ramen’s at Ippudo, the Akamaru with flavoured egg ($18) is my absolute favourite. I love the intensity and richness of the broth and every bowl of Ramen always comes down to the broth.

The broth comes positively gleaming with richness and flavour. I am so impatient I quickly go in for the dive and I completely immersed in it. It is sensational.

I also love the fragrant hints of garlic oil and the option to swirl the miso paste into your broth. To do so, lifts the broth to the highest order.  My ramen is firm, adding texture and bite contrasting nicely with the fork tender pork belly that melts. The addition of flavoured egg is luxuriant, oozing its way out. Soft, rich and plump.

ippudo pork bun

The ippudo pork buns ($4) are so delicious, every mouthful is just as delicious as the next. The buns are super soft, the pork is spicy, fatty and tender. Setting itself apart from the creaminess of Japanese kewpie mayo and crisp lettuce leaves. Reminds me a lot of the famous Momofuku pork buns.

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Tanpopo restaurant

Now under new management.

This is a really cute place that I highly recommend you go to. It’s tiny, it’s quaint and has that Japanese-esque feel to it. Ka-wa-ii de-su-ne.

The setting is a bit squishy and the service is a bit inattentive but the food more than makes up for it. It is excellent. Don’t get me wrong, the staff are lovely, courteous and friendly. But at times, they just don’t seem to look up. They get really focused on the job at hand. So you may find yourself either staring them down to catch their eye or making the giant leap forward to the counter to speak to them.

Tanpopo Chef Special

Beef Tataki

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