The round-up: slurp up the best ramen in Brisbane
Once the mercury starts to drop (or the rain sets in), ramen season comes on in full force. Ramen is quickly catching on in popularity around town, with several noodle soup joints specialising in the hearty dish. Forget all about your five-pack of instant mie goreng ramen noodles – the real deal is so much better that it’s unfair to call them both ramen. We’ve compiled a list of the best spots to get your slurp on, which we reckon is worth a hearty (r)amen!
Taro’s Ramen, various location: One of the longest-running Brisbane ramen institutions, Taro is a must-try for those seeking the best ramen in Brisbane. Taro boasts four locations in Brisbane – one inside the 480 Queen Street building, one in South Brisbane, a spot in Stones Corner and one on Racecourse Road in Ascot. Taro’s popular ramen often features succulent Bangalow sweetpork and other tasty morsels.
Ramen Danbo, various locations: Us Brisbane ramen fiends breathed a sweet sigh of FOMO-induced relief when beloved Japanese ramen chain Ramen Danbo finally opened its doors in our city. Following the raging success of its Gold Coast siblings, Ramen Danbo’s three Brisbane locales (Brisbane City, South Brisbane and Sunnybank) dish out mouth-watering broths in six perfect varieties. In addition to the signature tonkotsu pork broth, one can select a negi-goma ramen with sliced spring onions and toasted sesame, miso tonkotsu, and a vegetarian soup that is made using a miso and konbu blend.
Ramen Champion, Sunnybank: Those looking for a seriously big bowl of ramen should know that there is one place in town that caters to humungous appetites. This Sunnybank spot offers Brisbane’s only giant ramen challenge – an impossibly large bowl of broth, noodles, meat and egg that only ten percent of eaters finish. If you are only after a regular bowl, Ramen Champion serves up plenty of those as well with the pork bone soup ramen with black sauce and flame-grilled chicken ramen being certified standouts.
Beppin Ramen, Brisbane City: Highly regarded by broth-and-noodle aficionados as one of the best bowl slingers in town, Beppin Ramen should be one of the first spots you check out on your ramen hunt. The menu boasts a jaw-dropping selection, including standard creamy tonkotsu and black-garlic tonkotsu varieties, as well as tongue-tingling hot chilli ramen and a spicy mabo tofu ramen. If you’re not a fan of pork, don’t stress – Beppin serve clear-broth slow-cooked chicken ramen.
Genkotsu, Runcorn and Toowong: If you live in Runcorn or Toowong then you are one of the lucky few to boast a Genkotsu in your suburb. The chefs at Genkotsu use traditional recipes and methods when creating their bowls – broth is boiled for more than 12 hours and the flavoured boiled eggs are marinated overnight. Choose a salt, soy or fish broth or go all out and add soft-shell crab or prawn.
Niku Ramen, Nundah: Boasting a colourful interior with booth seating and plenty of room to swing a noodle around, Niku Ramen’s menu needs to be seen to be believed. This noodle joint boasts 15 kinds of ramen to try, ranging from rich classic tonkotsu, soy chicken-based Tokyo ramen, wonton ramen, miso-chicken based butter-corn ramen and negimiso ramen. Take note: Niku Ramen is currently temporarily closed.
Hai-Hai Ramen, Paddington: A heavy-hitter in the Brisbane ramen scene, Hai-Hai Ramen in Paddington quickly established itself as one of the most creative joints when it comes to bowls of noodle soup. The concise menu features three kinds of ramen boasting two types of broth – soy or salt-based. A must-try is the vegetarian ramen with kelp and shitaki broth, tofu and greens – even carnivores will be greedily sipping every drop.
Hakataya Ramen, various locations: Sunnybank Market Square, Westfield Garden City, Queen Street Mall, the Myer Centre and Indooroopilly Shopping Centre are large hubs of retail activity. If shopping makes you hungry (or if you need to rest your feet for a spell), Hakataya Ramen is on hand to replenish fuel reserves with its selection of tasty ramen. Try the Japanese spicy pork noodle soup with a side of gyoza – it’ll get you energised for more window shopping in no time.
Phat Boyz Smokehouse & Kitchen, Walloon: This one is a bit unconventional and it’s a little while away, but bear with us – you’ve not had ramen like this before. The pitmasters at Phat Boyz Smokehouse are known for their low ’n’ slow barbecue (think smoked chickens, ribs and pulled pork), but the crew is known to get a little bit experimental too. On the menu you’ll find both smoked brisket and smoked pork belly ramen, each loaded with broth, wombok, carrot, capsicum, onion, egg and smoked bacon tare. If you love barbecue and ramen in equal measure, this might just be your dream dish.
Ikkairo Ramen, Underwood: If you’re looking to slurp up a more experimental broth, Underwood’s Ikkairo Ramen has a tasty variation you need to try. Taking inspiration from French bisques, Ikkairo dishes up an inventive prawn-based broth, mixing milky tonkotsu with tiger prawns, chashu pork and hand-made noodles.
Motto Motto, Upper Mount Gravatt and Chermside: Garden City’s own Japanese kitchen serves a large range of tasty morsels, but its ramen selections are especially slurp-worthy. The tonkotsu ramen soup comes with 12-hour pork superstock, pork belly and egg, which also comes in a spicy variety for those that prefer to live on the edge (we like your style).
Men Ya Go, Brisbane City: City slickers flock to both of Men Ya Go’s inner-city locations at lunch for its ramen. You can’t beat the classics, and Men Ya Go’s shoyu tonkotsu is as tasty as it gets. Adventurous types can sample chicken shio and spicy minced chicken ramen. The best thing about Men Ya Go? Extra kaedama (noodles) are free.
Ramen Ye, Jamboree Heights: Though largely unheralded, Ramen Ye has a loyal following that swear its ramen is legit. Beyond the classic tonkotsu, this eatery also scoops bowls of black garlic, miso ramen, tan tan men ramen and red-hot spicy sesame ramen.
Honourable mentions: We’ve also heard many good things about Fortitude Valley spots Wagaya, Tatsu Ramen & Gyoza Bar and Nom Nom Korean, as well as Okuman Karaage & Ramen Bar in South Brisbane and Izakaya Goku in West End.
Headed south? You can scope out the Gold Coast’s best ramen here.
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