Hopeless Ramentics: The Best Ramen in Melbourne
Ramen love with Melbourne
In our ‘humble’ opinion, we firmly believe that there is not much better than a bowl of ramen. And, as with most things regarding food in Australia, the ramen in Melbourne is literally mind-blowing. Therefore, we thought we’d investigate this delightful dish.
So, what is ramen exactly?
Ramen is made up of four elements: broth, tare (seasoning), noodles and toppings. Despite its origins as a simple supper for workmen, ramen is now highly revered and considered to have deep, complex and interesting flavours. The science lies in the broth, the al dente nature of the silky noodles and the quality of toppings that accompany it.
Generally speaking, the tonkotsu broth that’s made from pork bones or the chicken version, are the most common broths in Melbourne. They’re typically cooked for at least 12 hours with kelp, bonito flakes and dashi. Then, it’s seasoned with shoyu, shio and miso, which adds more depth to this complex broth. Each restaurant will likely have varying tare, which is where the beauty lies. You’ll always find something a little bit different. Cool, no?
As for the noodles, they’re typically wheat noodles that are best served al dente. Why? Because the noodles continue to cook once they’re in the broth. There’s quite a few varieties, but generally they’re made up for wheat flour, salt, water, and kansui. For coeliacs, guests can often opt for rice noodles, which is a great gluten-free alternative – just be sure to check the broth is made with tamari instead of soy! To top it all off, toppings including pork, a soft-boiled egg, bean sprouts, black fungus, nori, naruto, corn and onions are added. But there’s often a lot of choice on the menu at the ramen places in Melbourne.
So, we decided to slurp our way through the best ramen in Melbourne and decided that the following 5 spots are well worth a look.
The best ramen in Melbourne
1. The Dojo Ramen Bar
Ahhhh Dojo. We have big feelings for this Northcote eatery. Modern and stylish, its claim to fame is its broth that was developed with ramen masters in Tokyo. It offers four different kinds of vegetarian ramen and spicy versions that are made from the signature secret broth. Perfect for slurping up a storm with your mates, we’re big fans of this ramen bar.
What to eat: Chilli miso made with the Dojo broth, chilli, cha shu pork, ajitama egg, spring onions, nori and bamboo shoots.
333 High Street, Northcote, Melbourne 3070Tues – Fri: 5pm til lateSun – Sun: Midday til late
2. Shibui Bar
Sleek and sophisticated, Shibui Bar specialises in shoyu ramen which is the soy sauce broth we spoke about before. The majority of the ramen options are made with pork and chicken broth here. But you can also get a vegan bowl that comes with pumpkin, kouji, enoki mushrooms, kale chips and sesame. Located in the heart of Fitzroy on Brunswick Street, bring your date or bestie for a night of delicious food and a sake or two.
What to eat: N° 1 ebi prawn pamen cooked with prawn stock, marinated egg, soy sauce, kouji, spring onion, garlic chip, nori and prawns.
177 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, Melbourne 3065__Wed – Sat: 6 – 11pm
3. Yoku Ono Ramen + Sake
The brainchild from the talented crew behind Wabi Sabi Salon and Neko Neko, Yoku Ono Ramen + Sake is one of the coolest ramen bars in Melbourne. The furniture is all wooden and made by one of the owners, Billy Straughton, and the vibe is reminiscent of a chalet. The standout here is the broth made with 8-hour slow-cooked chicken and topped with your choice of chicken, pork belly or spicy pork mince. As the name suggests, sake is also on the menu here, so keep an eye out for the sake cocktails. Gluten-free ramen is also available.
What to eat: The signature Yoku Ono ramen topped with chicken breast.
6a Anchor Place, Prahran, Melbourne 3181Monday: ClosedLunch: Tues – Fri: 12 – 2:30pm, Sat: 12 – 3pm__Dinner: Tues – Thurs: 5:30 – 9pm, Fri – Sat: 5:30 – 10pm, Sun: 5:30 – 9pm
Now, just because Ippudo is a chain, doesn’t mean it isn’t one of the best ramen spots in Melbourne. There’s a reason why branches are located all over Japan, America, Europe, Asia and Australia. The menu at this outpost in Artemis Lane is extensive and boasts a wide range of creative Japanese starters, salads, rice bowls and desserts. The signature is the shiromaru motoaji, a creamy tonkotsu broth cooked for 18 hours. This is then topped with pork loin, bean sprouts, black fungus and spring onions. But there’s a lot more to be discovered and devoured. Therefore, it’s a must-visit!
What to eat: Karaka-men ramen with the creamy tonkotsu broth, secret dashi, thin noodles, spicy minced pork miso, pork belly chashu, bean sprouts, spring onions and roasted cashews.
Shop 18, Artemis Lane, 300 Lonsdale Street, QV Shopping Centre, Melbourne 3000__Sun – Thurs: 11 – 9:30pm, Fri – Sat: 11 – 10pm
Featuring charcoal coloured walls and terrariums, Shizuku knows a thing or two about ramen. They’ve put a lot of effort into every aspect of the restaurant, especially when it comes to the ramen on offer. Creative, unique and packed with interesting flavours, there are izakaya-style dishes alongside the seriously extensive ramen offering. Meaning a feast is definitely in order. Shizuku also offers a rage of craft beer that matches the soup perfectly. So, it’s easy to see why Shizuku is one of our favourites places to eat ramen in Melbourne.
What to eat: Wagyu karubi ramen of broth made from Wagyu bones, char-grilled David Blackmore 9+ sliced short rib meat, homemade Wagyu jerky, egg, negi and spicy chilli oil.
309 Victoria Street, Abbotsford, Melbourne 3067Lunch: Sun – Mon: 11:30 – 2:30pmDinner: Sun – Mon: 5:30 – 10pm