Friday, October 21, 2011

Ramen Ya on Bourke

Shop 9, The Paramount,
108 Bourke Street
Melbourne, VIC 3000

Ramen Ya on Bourke is the second branch and potentially the begining of a chain of Ramen Ya shops, adding to the GPO location. This was my first visit to either branch, but I was encouraged by plenty of positive comments. The address had me fearing a dive into the back of a mall/food court, but you can enter directly from the street.

Immeadiately inside is the counter where you can peruse a menu, order and are given you wooden table number flag, fortunately despite the tables being busy, this area was quiet when we arrived, giving us a minute or two to make our choices. The main dining area is bright with tall, full height windows from the street. There are plenty of modern bright clean wooden tables seating up to 8, we managed to find one to share.

The ceiling is covered in hundreds of white paper lampshades.

I didn't used to go to many Japanese restaurants before moving to Melbourne, but have got more into them over the time being here, and got over my fear from the UK of small portions and high prices! So my bento box was first ever, and I chose the ebi featuring crumbed fried prawns, 2 gyoza, rice and salad. The prawns were fantastic, wonderfully cooked so still firm with a crispy coating and criss crossed with Katsu sauce and wasbi mayo. The gyoza were also really good and the whole box looked great, Brendan pointed out that it looked as good as the picture on the menu

Brendan went for the gyoza ramen soup, his thoughts on it were:

"For $10 I should have realized it was a large dish, though when one orders soup, one expects something a touch smaller. That quibble aside, I got what I expected from the photo on the menu and managed to almost finish it despite my conservatism - a positive sign.

The pork dumplings were clearly the highlight taste wise, though I had trouble getting them to my mouth in one piece - they'd crumble off the fork. Those white things with the purple swirl looked terrific, though I noticed no particular taste when I ate them. Otherwise, the flavors were delicious, the noodles were perfect, and I had no hesitation in finishing off the "broth" after the "hardware" of the dish was eaten."

The bento box was $11 and the ramen $10, both good value. The service was pretty efficient considering how busy it was, and reasonably friendly. I'd certainly happy with my lunch and wouldn't hesitate to go back.

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