Melbourne is in luck! The REAL Hakata Tonkotsu Ramen has opened! (Grand Opening is this Friday 15th August 2014)
Glamolicious has been invited to its VIP Opening Event to taste their remarkable ramen & provide our feedback. I’m trying to hold my excitement right now…… so let’s begin with the menu! As pictured above, such simple menu with just a few choices, but it’s ALL ABOUT THE RAMEN, it’s great to see the menu sticking to the basics! I was attracted to the BLACK TONKOTSU so I went for that, and Daniel ordered the Signature Tonkotsu. We did not add any toppings but did order Gyoza and Chicken Karaage as our sides. For such a cold winter night, we went for good old Japanese Green Tea as our drinks. Order is placed using a small paper form, we just ticked the boxes – Easy peasy!
While waiting for our food, I noticed many bottles and jars on each table. I was surprised that they had seasonings available for eaters to add as they wish, such as sesame, mince garlic and something I have forgotten to try and still wondering what that is – the Ramen Sauce! Also in two wooden jars are Pickled Vege (spicy) and Red Ginger – a happy bonus for those who love them After exploring with whats on our table, we started to enjoy the buzz in this busy restaurant, or rather, a noodle/ramen bar! The energy is truly high up there, with more Japanese than English spoken. Absolutely love it! The restaurant is very well staffed, so the service was smooth and friendly. The only thing we could comment, which probably isn’t a negative feedback anyway, is how the typical Japanese restaurant will say their Thank Yous and Goodbyes when diners leave, this team definitely done it quite loud – LOL.
Our entrees/sides were served, the chicken karaage is delicious! Crunchy on the outside, juicy in the inside. Pretty Perfect for me! The special salt on the side gave a nice added seasoning to it too. I have totally forgotten to take a photo of the Gyoza, yeap, you can guess, it was pretty delicious and gone before I remembered about doing that Asian “prayers”! We wish the Gyoza can be slightly bigger, it’s a tad smaller than what you usually see and a pity as they are delicious!
My ramen is served, the BLACK TONKOTSU. It’s Black Sesame & Roasted Garlic Pork Bone Noodle Soup. It tasted great!!! I felt the difference in the soup immediately, and thoroughly enjoyed the noodles! I selected normal noodles (other options are soft or hard) and normal soup (other options are light or traditional Japanese). I wished I had more Cha-Shu, so highly recommend that you get extra pieces for $3. Towards the end, I remembered that the ingredient of the blackness is black sesame, so I wondered why I didn’t get that “bang” of black sesame flavour – it was pretty subtle. A chef who is our fellow diners explained that the pork bone soup has been made so well that the flavour it’s quite strong and that’s what people want, if the black sesame is any stronger, it would have to be very very black. So the hero here is the pork bone soup – agreed! Chef also suggested I add the pickled vege (spicy) to my soup but I gave that a miss since I’m having a sorethroat today – will do next time
Daniel’s ramen is the Signature Tonkotsu Ramen – Hakata Traditional Pork Bone Noodle Soup. This is DIVINE! I thought mine’s awesome, but THIS one is out of the world! Highly highly recommended! The soup was insane.. I can drink it EVERYDAY! The flavours are blended so well, it’s not too oily and not too salty, it’s rich in flavour but not a thick soup. I somehow taste some kind of egg yolky flavour, I’m not sure if I described it correctly, but I love it! Our Chef friend, Chef Ikuei Arakane who invited us to this tasting told us that this is the BEST ramen in Melbourne! Supported by fellow dinner Aya, she said Chef Ikuei Arakane has never said a ramen in Melbourne is delicious – so this is a SERIOUS ISSUE! Chef explained to us the making of a good ramen, it’s all about the soup and the noodle. The soup goes back to the type & quality of pork bone used, and in Australia, it’s hard to get consistent quality, it’s even hard to ensure you get female pork bones supplied all the time, as that is the best ingredient to make a great Tonkotsu. This ramen shop has achieved a perfect balance in the soup, between the pork bone and the flavourings. The noodles are different too, and we found out later that they have 2 Japanese chefs from Hakata who are making the soup everyday, and 2 more Japanese chefs from the same prefecture who make the noodles from scratch everyday – hence they are so distinctively great, not the noodles from factories!
The last feedback from us is the signage at entrance – it looks more like Chinese than Japanese establishment! I almost couldn’t find it as I didn’t accept that signage as where I will be having traditional Japanese ramen! LOL! We would like to thank Chef Ikuei Arakane & Miss Aya Ishibashi for the invitation, and lovely to catch up over The Most Delicious Ramen In Melbourne with our Japanese friends. We thank the team at Hakata Gensuke for having us with such warm hospitality and for accepting our feedback. We’ll surely be regulars and tell the world about Hakata Gensuke!
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