Friday, 28 September 2012

Ramen Ya Road Trip

And the hunt for ramen continues! I'm still haunted by that wondrous journey to Ramen Kan in Sydney, I can't help but make a day out of visiting ramen shops!

We took the first Saturday of our mid-semester break as opportunity to head into the city to check out Ramen Ya, a restaurant I'd read many a review about online. A pretty debatable restaurant, with many claiming it to be the best ramen in Melbourne and others left wondering what the fuss is all about! Naturally, I had to investigate!


#swagkitty #thuglife
We went to their branch in Melbourne's GPO, and it was tucked away into a little alley along with a couple of other establishments. Indoor and outdoor seating was available, and the general atmosphere was pleasant, airy and bright.
Calpis, my friends. Calpis. It is magic captured in a bottle. You could liken the taste to Yakult, but it is just so much more epic than that! My mama and I used to drink this a lot when I was a kid, and I'm always thrilled when I find a shop that sells it! Definitely more available here than in the Philippines.
Loose leaf green tea and Kirin. Andrew tells me the solution to life is one beer. Just one beer.

The boys appreciated the variety of Japanese beers on offer.
Down the line of seating - how fresh does this place look! Nothing ostentatious, everything kept in earthy and true colours. Lovely.
Julia and Izzy ordered the Ramen Set ($14.00) that comes with 3 pieces of gyoza (or a salad), ramen and Japanese green tea. They both went for the shoyu broth, so that's made with chicken and soy.

"Oh god I don't know.. it was so yummy haha... super super filling.. and the mix of all the flavors and textures was perfect."
These bowls were monstrously huge! But no complaints over here! Julia jacked hers up with chilli oil and chilli paste and it became an atomic creation. 

Andrew ordered the Unagi Bento ($13.50) - marinated grilled eel served with salad and gyoza.

A classic, rich, and filling dish that I miss dearly. The bento was like opening a present! He had no complaints and enjoyed the serving.
Steve had the Charshu Ramen set ($14.00) - Ramen Ya's house specialty ramen served with sliced marinated pork. He had the tonkotsu broth, which is a quintessential feature in Japanese ramen.
"The sliced marinated pork was cooked perfectly, it was moist and you could just taste a bit of the marinade so it didn’t overwhelm the whole dish which is a good thing, and my only complaint in regards to the sliced pork was there was not enough of it. I really liked the soup base, you could taste the pork somewhat and its intensity was perfect in the sense it wasn’t strong enough to distract you from the other components of the dish. The noodles was good, cooked fine. I had the dish in a set, so it came with gyoza. Gyoza was good, it was a decent size and slightly crispy which I like."

You can tell when people love to talk about food, right? :)

I had the Gyoza Ramen with tonkotsu broth ($10.00) - Ramen Ya's ramen served wtih choice of pork, seafood, or vegetarian dumplings.

Tonkotsu broth is characterised by its milkiness and cloudiness, and it's made from boiling pork bones and fat over high heat for many hours. It's quite arduous but is such a staple. Such a beautiful thing.
One of my grumbles about the ramen is that the egg wasn't soft-boiled.

I find that the soft-boiled egg such a grand element of ramen because it does take a bit of effort to get just the right consistency of yolk with a cooked white. I don't like the texture of cooked yolk.

A slightly runny, beautifully rich and orange yolk is just plain sexy.
I wasn't won over by their tonkotsu broth to be honest. I feel like I've had richer, more soul-grabbing bowls of ramen in the past. I feel like ramen broth takes time and effort and pouring your whole being into. You can feel when it's been nurtured. Am I crazy?

I'm still searching for the shop that will give me a broth speckled with hints of pork fat, as the richest of broths have. But otherwise, it's a pretty decent dish. Good noodles, good dumplings.
Overall, I think Ramen Ya was worth the visit though. Good eats for cheap? Amazing company? Hello there! Lovely location as well. They've got a second branch real nearby too. Same street even, if I'm not mistaken.

Dinosaur bowls of ramen for $10.00? All of us left wobbling in near food-baby states. We went at around two in the afternoon so it wasn't crowded and we were able to just lounge around for a while. What a beautiful day.
Love and ramen bowls bigger than your face,
Demitasse
Ramen Ya
Shop 25G, Melbourne GPO
350 Bourke Street
Melbourne CBD, VIC 3000
+61 (3) 9654 5838
Official Site
Facebook

Ramen Ya on Urbanspoon

(Nota bene: Even though I am a vegetarian, I have certain exceptions when it comes to eating meat or anything cooked with meat. The broth in ramen is one of them because of how much of soul, heart, and respect can go into the real thing. I am still hunting for that perfect bowl, the one that makes you feel like you're being given the best warm hug from the inside out.)

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