These Melbourne restaurants serve up ramen that is truly ‘oishii’ (delicious).
The rain and grey skies have arrived, which has got us thinking of ramen because, well, it’s delicious and the perfect seasonal pick-me-up. (Featured image: @susannschuster)
With so many unique varieties and combinations of broth, tare (seasoning), noodles and toppings, there’s a taste and flavour to satisfy every palate as well. And while a trip to Japan to slurp on a bowl of ramen would certainly be memorable, Melbourne has quite a number of ramen restaurants serving up their own tasty variations of the iconic Japanese dish that really does the city proud.
Try them all to find your favourite because we can’t quite decide which is best, which is actually another way of saying let’s go eat some more.
1. Ippudo, CBD
Ippudo, the Japanese-founded franchise, has been around quite a long time now and has expanded around the globe with more than 200 locations, winning awards and fans wherever it has opened.
For good reason too. All Ippudo’s ‘Global Standard’ ramen feature their original creamy tonkotsu broth and signature secret dashi before diverging in seasoning, toppings and noodles. If it’s your first time, it’s hard to go past the signature Akamaru Shinaji served with pork belly chashu.
Find Ipuddo at 18 Artemis Lane (QV), CBD
2. Neko Neko, Fitzroy
Neko Neko is most likely the most vegan-friendly ramen restaurant on this list, but that shouldn’t deter meat-eaters from trying their delicious ramens. It’s super tasty and visually appealing. They also do gluten-free noodles, so there’s that too. Also, their two cats logo is up there as one of our favourites.
Find Neko Neko at 83A Smith Street, Fitzroy
3. Mr Ramen San, CBD
One of Melbourne’s oldest ramen joints, Mr Ramen San continually has a queue out the front waiting to score a seat. It might be for their 24-hour tonkotsu broth hailing from Hakata or for the quality of their noodles made in-house. Whatever it is, be prepared to wait. It’s always worth it.
Find Mr Ramen San at Shop 12A, 200 Bourke Street (Mid-City Arcade), CBD
4. Hakata Gensuke, Multiple Locations
Since opening the first store, Hakata Gensuke has built a loyal following in Melbourne. The founder of Hakata Gensuke, Mr Yoshimura, has twice been the Ultimate Ramen Champion and regularly visits his restaurant outposts to ensure the quality of his secret tonkotsu recipes are maintained. Our favourite would have to be the God Fire ramen.
Find the original Hakata Gensuke at 168 Russell Street, CBD
At Shop 4, 860 Glenferrie Road
Tori Ramen on Constance Stone Lane (QV)
Yatai Ramen at 126 Lygon Street, Carlton
5. Little Ramen Bar, CBD
When the delivery of fresh produce arrives at 5am, the kitchen at Little Ramen Bar gets to work on preparing the broth. Made from pork bones, onions, garlic, ginger and other secret ingredients, it boils for eight hours before it is ready. With twelve ramens on the menu, there’s something for everyone.
Find Little Ramen Bar at 346 Little Bourke Street, CBD
6. Shujinko, Multiple Locations
Shujinko’s pork-based tonkotsu is styled on Tokyo and is boiled for twelve hours in order to bring out the deep flavour. What makes Shujinko one of the city’s most popular, though, is that their Russel Street venue operates 24 hours a day. Plenty of hangovers have been cured here before ever having materialised.
Find Shujinko at 225 Russel Street, CBD
At 427 Elizabeth Street, CBD
At Shop 13/276 Flinders Street
At 225 Springvale Road, Glen Waverley
7. Yoku Ono, Prahran
If you’re south of the Yarra, it’s hard to go past Yoku Ono’s miso chicken broth ramen served with either chicken thigh or pork belly. Vegetarians and vegans are also well-catered for with a broth made from 2o vegetables. If you’re still feeling the cold after your ramen, take a look at the extensive sake list.
Find Yoku Ono at 6A Anchor Place, Prahran
8. Shizuku Ramen and Craft Beer, Abbotsford
While some ramen restaurants focus solely on the ramen, which ain’t a bad thing, at Shizuki the ramen is delectably paired with craft beer imported from all around Asia. If you’re feeling rich, grab the Wagyu Karubi ramen. Definitely worth a try.
Find Shizuku at 309 Victoria St, Abbotsford
9. Shop Ramen, Fitzroy and Preston
Fitzroy’s Shop Ramen has become an institution in the area thanks to the cult status of its vegetarian, cashew milk broth that diners claim is as tasty as the pork or chicken counterparts.
Find Shop Ramen at 329 Smith Street, Fitzroy
At 143 Plenty Road, Preston
10. Mensousai Mugen, CBD
At Mensousai Mugen, the ramen is served differently. Here, it’s all about the tsukumen, where you’ll be dipping your noodles and toppings into the rich and flavourful broth made with soy, miso, chicken and pork stock.
Find Mugen Ramen at 11 Bligh Place, CBD