The round-up: the best ramen spots in Brisbane
The mercury is dropping, which means it’s ramen season once again – hallelujah! 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: One of the longest running ramen joints in Brisbane, Taro is a must try for any ramen fanatic. Taro boasts three locations in Brisbane, one inside the brand new 480 Queen Street building, one on Edward Street in the City and one on Racecourse Road in Ascot. Taro’s popular ramen often features succulent Bangalow sweetpork and other tasty morsels.
Hai-Hai Ramen: A newcomer to the ramen scene, Hai-Hai Ramen in Paddington has 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.
Wagaya: One of the most popular spots in Fortitude Valley for Japanese cuisine is Wagaya, and it wouldn’t be a proper Japanese restaurant without a decent ramen offering. Get fancy and try the scallops and miso butter ramen or the kimchi salt based ramen.
MisoHapi Sushi and Ramen Bar: You can tell a lot about a venue by its name, and MisoHapi Sushi and Ramen Bar communicates the joy we feel after downing a sizeable bowl of warming ramen. This lively West End joint boasts a sushi train snaking around comfy leather booths but noodle fiends will only have eyes for ramen, which is readily available in a range of varieties.
Genkotsu: 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.
Ramen Champion: 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.
Hakataya Ramen: Sunnybank Market Square, 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.
Motto Motto: 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: City slickers flock to Men Ya Go 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: You can’t have a ramen best-of without including a spot called Ramen. This new kid on the block is the sibling to sushi and poke hotspot Suki, but don’t let the promise of sushi burritos sway you away from some of the best broth around. Ramen offers a simple but tasty menu of pork, chicken and vegetable ramen in either miso, shoyu and tsukemen styles – plus crispy gyoza and agedashi tofu to help fill any gaps.
Tatsu Yakitori Bar: The team behind West End’s Izakana-Ya Okuman brought its brand of Japanese cuisine to Fortitude Valley in the final days of 2016, with everything from yakitori, bento and sushi to ramen available. Tatsu’s ramen is an impressive sight – served in a bowl bigger than your head and filled with a range of tasty ingredients, ramen lovers will be hard pressed to choose between classic tonkotsu, spicy tonkotsu and karakara spicy ramen.
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