What is ramen?
If you’re at the end of a big night out and you find yourself craving some salty late-night food, ramen will be the best choice. Having grown up in Tokyo with thousands of bowls of authentic and top-notch ramen, I feel like I have to get through to everyone its greatness. Technically, ramen is a noodle dish flavored with pork, fish or soy sauce based broth and laced with variety of toppings; slices of tender chashu(pork), a sheet of nori(seaweed) and green onions. But the toppings can vary depending on where you go. It costs about 6$ – 9$ (in Japan), known as a common staple for all ages.
Since around the late 20th and 21st century, ramen has become artisanal and popular food in Japan. Many apprentices started developing its experience and own taste under the Ramen legends.
Where to have ramen in Brisbane?
Taro’s Ramen is only a 5 minute short walk from Central Station in the city. Their claim to fame is the variety of options and their reputation as a classic ramen restaurant in Brisbane. According to his blog, the founder of Taro’s Ramen, Taro-san, did the ramen journey in Japan and tasted as much ramen as possible. This authentic flavour has arrived here in Brisbane.
Hakataya is the first Hakata-style ramen shop to arrive in Brisbane, as the broth here is predominantly pork based, it has set the standard of Hakata-style ramen. Since there are seven shops conveniently located in Brisbane, it is a good starting point for newcomers.
Ramen Champion is also one of the best ramen restaurants in Brisbane. The flavours simmer in a searing hot pot for two to three days. What is really amazing is its special menu item, Giant Ramen, it costs $35 and only about 10% of people can finish the dish. There are two options, eat it all up and achieve the prize, or break your stomach and go to hospital.
Earlier this year, Genkotsu Ramen opened its store in Runcorn Plaza. The ramen they serve is Genkotsu Ramen and you can get a variety of side dishes. The shop reflects the traditional atmosphere like the ramen shops in Japan with very friendly service.
Take a ramen trip to Tokyo
If you are in desperate need for a top-notch ramen restaurant, the best prescription I could provide is a trip to Tokyo. Thanks to affordable flights to Tokyo and the weak Yen, Japan has opened its doors to many foreigners. Therefore, there is no reason not to come to Tokyo during the holiday.
When you wander around Tokyo, you will find ramen restaurants at every corner and come across a range of dish varieties, such as Hiyashi-Chuka (cold Ramen), Tsukemen (dipping Ramen) and Aburasoba (soup less Ramen). Sometimes you have to wait in a long line, but that shop will give you satisfying ramen after all.
You cannot imagine how many ramen shops there are in Tokyo. My favourite ramen place in Tokyo is Ikebukuro, which is one of the most famous ramen cities in Japan. Here is another ramen restaurant suggestion for Tokyo: