Iconic Japanese noodle chain Ramen Danbo opens its first Brisbane location
Big news for fans of a juicy nood – famed Japanese ramen institution Ramen Danbo has made its way to Brisbane. After conquering the Gold Coast, Ramen Danbo is set to woo our tastebuds with its signature full-bodied tonkotsu-style ramen. Ramen Danbo is officially opening in South Brisbane today, Thursday March 28, and is already shaping up to be a must-try addition for lovers of creamy broth, locally sourced pork and artisan noodles.
For those of you who aren’t versed in ramen’s storied history, Ramen Danbo’s origins stretch back to 2000, when its first ramen shop opened in Chikushino – a town halfway between Fukuoka and Kurume in Kyshu. From these humble beginnings Ramen Danbo has blossomed, racking up accolades (including first place in the 2002 Best 20 Kyushu Ramen Shops award) and expanding to boast dozens of locations dotted across Japan. Andrew Hosaka-Zaniewski and Sunao ‘Sunny’ Katada, two Gold Coast locals who lamented the lack of authentic ramen joints in their area, instigated Ramen Danbo’s entry into the Australian market after a chance meeting with Ramen Danbo’s owner. In 2017 Ramen Danbo opened its first Australian shop in Southport under the directorship of Andrew and Sunny, eventually adding to the portfolio with a smaller noodle pit stop in Surfers Paradise. While Ramen Danbo secured its foothold on the coast, both Andrew and Sunny contemplated expanding to Brisbane, knowing that there was a supportive consumer base with an insatiable appetite for ramen. Today marks the opening of Ramen Danbo’s first Brisbane location (and third Australian outlet) in South Brisbane on the bustling thoroughfare of Merivale Street.
The first thing you need to know about Ramen Danbo is that it specialises in one kind of ramen broth – tonkotsu. Ramen Danbo’s broth is boiled at higher temperatures than normal, using filtered water and quality pork bones to create a mouth-watering umami flavour that is seriously addictive. All Australian locations follow the recipe precisely – importing filtered water, soy sauce and the ramen-dare soup base from Japan to ensure it is as authentic as possible. The rest of the bowl is assembled with care, with locally sourced cha-shu pork simmered on site in yakibuta sauce and hoso-men thin noodles sourced from local suppliers.
The menu is concise, with six soup options available. 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. Diners can alter their choice to make it perfect, dictating noodle firmness, the richness of soup and the level of spice. Rounding out the menu is a selection of sides, including one-bite pork and cabbage gyoza, cha-shu pork and takana donburi, and omusubi rice balls. Although a liquor license is still in the works, the Ramen Danbo crew plan to offer beers on tap in the near future.
Ramen Danbo opens today, Thursday March 28. Jump over to our Stumble Guide for opening hours and extra details.
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