Late-night noods – Ramen Danbo expands to Brisbane City
When we say you can have too much of a good thing, we don’t mean ramen. As far as we’re concerned, we could bathe in broth and accoutre ourselves exclusively in noodles. If you share our unconventional tastes, and you happen to live in or conveniently close to the Brisbane CBD, then you’ll undoubtedly be as ecstatic as us to know that Ramen Danbo has expanded to the inner city. The ramen concept’s newest locale is open seven days a week until 10:00 pm, serving piping-hot bowls of its signature tonkotsu as well as some tasty new menu items.
Despite experiencing a few dicey months at the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, June turned out to be one of Ramen Danbo’s busiest months on record. One could attribute this to the onset of winter (also known as ramen weather) or a foodie scene eager to get back into conventional dining, but if you ask the Ramen Danbo crew’s opinion, it could also have been the result of some savvy experimentation. In response to the rapidly changing hospitality landscape, Andrew Hosaka-Zaniewski and Sunao ‘Sunny’ Katada pivoted operations to cater to the new normal – signing up to food-delivery services, implementing their own online ordering system and opening Danbo Kitchens – a dark kitchen based in the heart of St. Lucia – back in late May. The concept serviced a takeaway and delivery crowd from a standalone kitchen that could focus solely on preparation and efficiency. When Brisbane’s dining scene began to inch back towards pre-COVID activity, Andrew and Sunny wrapped up Danbo Kitchen and scouted about town for a new bricks-and-mortar location. They were drawn to the inner city, eventually securing a cosy space at the base of Student One Wharf Street for their third Brisbane ramen joint. The new location, which officially opened on Wednesday September 9, is the smallest of Ramen Danbo’s Brisbane portfolio (which also includes spots in South Brisbane and Sunnybank Hills). Utilising what they’d learned while operating the dark kitchen and responding to size restrictions, Andrew and Sunny have established a streamlined outlet that caters to the weekend and late-night crowd. Noodle and broth production is handled at Ramen Danbo’s Sunnybank eatery (the team has plans to create a prep kitchen to service all locations) and is delivered fresh daily, allowing more room for seating and essential gear.
While Andrew and Sunny are eager for the 24-seat CBD location to provide the quick and satisfying service of ramen bars, they aren’t framing this as an express location. Ramen Danbo Brisbane City offers the exact same menu as its larger siblings, from the classic tonkotsu pork ramen with nitamago (soft-boiled eggs) and the rich and hearty se-abura ramen to the miso tonkotsu ramen, negi-goma ramen (tonkotsu with added toasted sesame) and a vegetarian miso option. As always, guests can customise their order by dictating noodle firmness, soup richness, their preferred amount of spice and the level of saltiness in the broth. Extra toppings such as atsuage tofu slices, bamboo shoots, bean sprouts and seaweed sheets are on hand for creating your dream bowl, while sides like one-bite gyoza, omusubi rice balls and chashu pork donburi make for phenomenal gap fillers. The Ramen Danbo team will be trialling new menu items in the coming weeks, starting with the creamy, spicy and porky tantanmen (think ramen topped with barbecue minced pork and bok choy) as well as karaage chicken. Seasonal specials will also be a fixture, with different newcomers available at different locations, which is really just another excuse to eat more ramen!
Ramen Danbo’s Brisbane City location is open seven days. For trading hours and menu details, check out the Stumble Guide.
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