Disclosure: We attended the soft opening courtesy of Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen.
Ramen in Melbourne has been gradually getting better as more ramen focussed restaurants have been opening up.
The latest is Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen (IKR) and a couple of weeks ago I attended the soft opening with Alastair. As you probably know, there are numerous styles of ramen with different regions having different variations. IKR’s style is tonkotsu which originates from the Hakata district of Fukuoka city in Kyushu. Tonkotsu is made from a pork bone base, cooked at high heat for a long period of time until the soup is opaque, milky and creamy.
The restaurant is located in a basement on Russell Street. Down the stairs, it was bright and spacious even without any natural light or windows, with the bar on the side being an interesting feature point.
We were given the menu and a pen upon sitting down so we could mark our options.
The first choice was the type of ramen base:
– original tonkotsu
– yuzu tonkotsu
– spicy tobanjan
– black garlic
– miso tonkotsu
Step 2 was customising our bowl:
– light, normal or heavy ramen oil
– yes or no to garlic
– yes or no to green onion
– regular pork or pork belly ($1 extra)
– light or normal soy sauce
– and soft, normal, hard or extra hard noodle texture
And finally, there was the choice of additional toppings, at extra cost.
I selected black garlic for my soup and Alastair had the original tonkotsu.
The bowl came with black fungus, pork, a sheet of nori and bean sprouts, and the egg (normally $2) had a perfectly gooey yolk. My soup had a slick of black garlic oil at the top, giving it a nice aroma.
I thought the soup was acceptable – creamy and porky, although not strongly so. The noodles IKR serves are a thin style, which I’m not a big fan of (I’ve never liked those kinds of noodles) and when I visit again I’ll be sure to request softer noodles.
Oh IKR have Asahi Black on tap – I think the only place in Australia who does.
Pricewise, a bowl of the original tonkotsu starts at $15 without additions, which seems to be getting up there – is that standard for ramen nowdays? Damn inflation. If you have a bigger appetite, you can request extra noodles at no additional charge. I had the usual portion, but Alastair requested extra noodles (which comes in a separate bowl btw) and I ended up stealing some of his.
As we left, Alastair declared it yum. I’d be interested to head back and try them again now that they’ve had a month to settle and see how it compares.
Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen
27 Russell Street
Phone: 03 9650 3708