It’s crazy to think that not that long ago, it was near impossible to get a good bowl of ramen in Melbourne. The situation is definitely a lot loss dire now, with ramenjoints popping out all across town. Fukuryu Ramen was, however, one of the first decent restaurants that specialises in ramen, and I was interested to see how it fares against the newcomers some years later.
Wanting something with some kick, I went for the Red Dragon Ramen, which is said to be the spiciest ramen on offer. The noodles were slightly curly, and had a good bite to it. The soup was indeed, quite spicy, definitely capable of making you sweat as the heat builds up. Besides the spiciness though, the soup base was also full of umami, and quite thick, benefiting from a long and slow simmer of the pork bone broth. The trimmings of chashu were fatty and satisfying, and the egg was also cooked perfectly.
I’m happy to report that Fukuryu Ramen has stood the test of time, and is a reliable place to visit for a good ol’ bowl of ramen, especially now that we’re finally getting some cooler weather!
How to get here: Fukuryu Ramen is located on Corrs Lane, which is just off Little Bourke Street; a short 7 minutes walk from Melbourne Central.
My friend is currently doing her Masters in University of Tokyo, so of course, on my last day with her, she took me on a personal tour after a quick breakfast of oden from 7/11.
I think visiting universities is something that doesn’t get as enough attention in the travelling community, but I personally find it very eye-opening and enjoyable. We took a stroll around the campus, and it was really impressive! Although most of the buildings were more reminiscent of a Western style, the Akamon, aka the Red Gate, is something that was retained from the Edo Era.
Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum
After visiting University of Tokyo, it was time for me to take my first Shinkansen to Yokohama! I had only one place on my list to visit in Yokohama, and it was the Ramen Museum to no one’s surprise.
The museum had three levels, and the bottom floor was set up like traditional Japan in the 1950s. The ordering system is quite simple, there’s a vending machine outside each ramen shop, and you press the button of the item that you want to order, and then insert the cash, take the ticket, upon entering the restaurant, hand the ticket to one of the waiters, and then wait for your ramen to arrive.
There was a total of 9 ramen shops, and I aimed to try three of them, but unfortunately was full to the brim after two, first world problems I know.
The cloudiness of the soup meant that there was a ton of depth to the soup, and the ramen itself was perfectly al-dente. The only negative though was there the soup was extremely salty, which meant that as much as I wanted to, I couldn’t drink all of it.
I also tried the spicy miso ramen, since it’s something that’s not as commonly found in Melbourne. After mixing the spicy miso paste to the soup, it did help cut through the richness of the soup, which I didn’t expect! I think this ramen was more akin to traditional ramen, where there is a layer of oil on the soup, and you have to kind of stir the soup around if you don’t want the oily bits.
Hokkaido style ramen was featured here, known for being thick and slightly curly, it had a bit more bite to it than the thin straight kind that I’m used to.
I arrived in my hostel in Osaka at around 8pm, and was so tired, so instead of my original plan to visit Dotonburi, I decided to stay in the hostel and just have some down time, write in my travel journal, and figure out how to buy Universal Studio tickets online, you know, all that good stuff.
7/11: 635JPY ~ 7.8AUD
Drug store: 6365JPY ~ 79AUD
Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum Ticket: 310JPY ~ 3.8AUD
Ramen from Najima-Tei: 750JPY ~ 9.3AUD
Ramen from Ryu Shanghai Honten: 870JPY ~ 10.8AUD
Lollies from the traditional lolly shop in the museum: 140JPY ~ 1.7AUD
Postcard: 411JPY ~ 5AUD
Osaka accommodation: 8900JPY ~ 106AUD
Universal Studios Ticket: 7400JPY ~ 89AUD
Having just gotten back to Melbourne after a trip to Japan and Korea (don’t worry, blog posts about that will be coming up), I thought it would be fitting to review a ramen restaurant, and not just any restaurant at that, Hakata Gensuke is often said to make the best bowl of ramen in Melbourne, having tried their classic pork ramen on various occasions, this time, we decided to visit its newest addition, specialising in chicken ramen.
Black Tori Ramen – $13.00
The black tori ramen gets it colour from the black sesame paste added to the soup, as well as copious amount of special fried garlic, resulting in a very intense soup. Although the soup itself was on par to its pork counterpart, the chicken cha-shu just doesn’t have the same oomph as pork, I mean, it wasn’t dry by any means, however, it definitely wasn’t melt in your mouth either.
Signature Tori Ramen w/ Soy-Marinated Egg – $12.00 + $2.00
Of course I also had to try their signature tori ramen. It still surprises me that the soup can be so full of collagen given that it’s made of chicken, the thickness is more obvious in this photo without the dramatic colour of the previous one. The egg was extremely flavoursome, the noodle was cooked perfectly, again, my only complaint is the chicken slices themselves.
I will pick pork over chicken ramen anyday personally, although if you are looking for something different, do come and try the chicken ramen at Hakata Gensuke for yourself.
How to get there:
Hakata Gensuke is located in an alleyway in QV, right across the road from Melbourne Central.