350 Bourke Street
Melbourne VIC 3000,
Mon ~ Tue
11am ~ 5pm
Wed ~ Sat
11am ~ 9pm
12am ~ 4pm
Ph: (03) 9654 5838
Web: Ramen Ya
Gone shopping in the city during a weekend. DH suggested to try this ramen place located in a laneway next to Melbourne's GPO building. He said it was going to be good as he saw so many positive reviews on urbanspoon. People were crazy about the place and it was amazingly popular, blablabla...Okay. Although I'm not a ramen fan, I'd still like to try anything taste delicious. Can't say no due to my obsession to good food.
The so called "best ramen in melbourne" was quiet on the Sunday afternoon. There were plenty of empty seats both indoor and outdoor of the restaurant. Great location for shoppers like us to take a rest and grab some snacks and sit at somewhere relaxing where we can stretch our legs and arms. DH was super hungry and I was only soso. They have ramens, bento boxes, gyoza and salads all printed on one page of a small menu. Honestly, not much to choose from their limited varieties and obviously ramen were their signature dishes. Therefore, I ordered a house specialty: charshu ramen with tonkotsu soup and tofu salad. DH had the kimchi ramen and also he's all time favourite: gyoza. Order was placed and paid at the cashier and you picked your own drinks from the fridge. The total of the bill including two Japanese soft drinks (calpis and Japanese green tea) was $3x. Price was cheap!
There is no needed to wait to be seated as you can seat where ever is available. We picked a table at the outdoor area to get a better view of the whole restaurant. Food was speedy, staffs were friendly and there was minimum requirement for service. No complain as $10 for a bowl of ramen is really budget. This place is great for young people.
We shared the gyoza. It was cold and the skin was hard. Not that fresh and they were like leftovers. The tofu salad I had was bland and tasteless. I rather they use the delicate silky Japanese tofu instead of the harsh and lack of flavour tofu. Then we had our bet on the ramens.
Our ramens came on a wooden tray and placed on our table by a nice waitress. Reasonable size and good portion of ramen. There were a half egg, few slices of pork, seaweed, bamboo shoot, some pickles and spring onions in the bowl to balance up the whole dish. DH's ramen was very similar to mine except he has extra kimchi in the bowl. The pork base broth was thick and creamy, it was tasty but nothing surprising. Furthermore, it was not hot enough and the ramen was like pack instant noodles from any Asian groceries. You must be kidding me if this is how the best of all ramen in town taste like! Then my hubby could be their top chef with he's signature dish (the only dish he cooks) of Shin Ramyun, a Korean instant noodle which available in most Asian groceries.
Maybe we were disappointed due to our high expectations. Seriouly, it was no better than ramen in a bag. And with an extra egg added in the soup just the minute before you turn off the gas and some kimchi place on top which you can get from Korean gorcery and sold in plastic box or add any other ingredients as you wish, the taste would be as good as what I had at Ramen Ya! With the right cooking time, the noodles should be chewy and tasty. For more delicious broth, you could use precook stock from pork marrow bones and vegetables that have been simmered to smithereens which added flavorsome, richness and depth in the broth. The stock can store in fridge and use for other purposes. Okay, if you don't like to cook, try some other places. Ramen Ya, what was all the fuss about? The only thing I liked about it was the ice cold Japanese green tea in can. I'd rather spend my $3x on two cups of coffee at Ca De Vin located on the same narrow lane, get a bunch of flowers next door, and eat instant noodles at home cooks by DH.