Monday, April 14, 2014

Eat. @ Fukuryu Ramen & Shop Ramen

My kids love noodles and we're always looking for good ramen/udon places.  Here are 2 recent finds that have been quite good.

Fukuryu Ramen
Level 1, 22-26 Corrs Lane, Melbourne CBD 3000 ph (03) 9090 7149

Fukuryu Ramen (don't let your kids say this too quickly!) is literally a new kid on the block.  It opened recently in a first floor warehouse space.  There's quite a bit of seating and the red feature wall is adorned with a giant black dragon. (Fukuryu means lucky dragon)  You order at the counter and the food is delivered to your table.

From the small plates section we ordered tried the Nori Tofu ($4.9).  A relatively light tofu, with a side of kewpie mayo.  Personally I thought this could be better with a dash more salt.

The Pork Gyozas ($5.9) were pleasant enough.  Didn't knock my socks off but quite serviceable as a starter.

The Signature Tonkotsu Ramen ($9.9) is what will bring me back though.  The soup base is meaty without being overly so, and not as salty as others around town.  The Ramen is pleasantly chewy and reflects the freshness of the noodles.

Hubby prefers Miso to Tonkotsu as a soup so he had the Miso Ramen ($9.9) and this was very nice, with a serve of buttery corn goodness.  The soft boiled egg was nicely done.

Lastly we tried the Shio Ramen ($9.9) which was a lighter salted broth.  It definitely is not as tasty as the Tonkotsu or Miso but did indeed feel a lot lighter.  This was served with a couple of dumplings and a slice of pork.

We were lucky enough to have gone when they still had their opening special with free green tea soft serve.  We had to wait for these as they had run out but they were worth the wait.  I'd be happy to pay for these next time we visit.

There was a queue intermittently for ordering but there was quite a rapid turnover of tables when we visited at 12:30pm on a Saturday.  By the time we left they had run out of the Tonkotsu Ramen!!  Upstairs location will mean you need help negotiating the stairs with a pram.  Verdict - good sized bowls of ramen with tasty broth at a reasonable price.  The ramen is the star and the soft serve a great palate cleansing after act.

Toilets - Yes
Highchairs - Yes

Shop Ramen
329 Smith St, Fitzroy 3065

Shop Ramen is the permanent incarnation of the successful pop-up Shophouse Ramen.  We stopped here for dinner on the weekend when the weather turned to autumn with a slight chill in the wind.  Yep,  Ramen weather!

The menu at a glance was ramen-shop-with-a-twist.  Offerings included ramen, buns, milkshake and pie!  

So of course we started with a Salted Caramel and Coconut Milkshake ($8).  It was quite pricey but delicious, and the 3 kids shared so as not to get too full.  

The waitress was super friendly, and she let us know that they offer kids sized ramen off-menu at $4 a bowl.  This was a great idea as both Bubs and Macaron Monster are fans of noodles but usually not so keen on the meat and seaweed.   Mini Me also had a bowl of noodles but added beef brisket extra ($4).   The size of the serving was quite good for the price.  All the kids were happy.

Hubby had the Shoyu Ramen ($14) which had pork belly, king oyster mushroom, spring onion, watercress, nori and organic shoyu.  The broth was quite tasty and the soft boiled egg is again excellent here.

I tried the Kimchi Miso Ramen ($14) featuring Cape Grim brisket, kimchi, peanuts, bean shoots, grilled spring onion and marinated egg (you can add Kraft Single Cheese slice for $1 - I think this is a Korean thing!)  An interesting twist to the traditional ramen that was quite delicious, although it might have traditionalists like my Hubby scratching his head a bit.  

The shop is not very big and became packed shortly after we arrived.  By the time we left there was a line.  We didn't get to stay for pie (next time!) as the kids wanted to go to Gelato Messina.  Verdict - good bowls of hearty noodles, a little bit pricey but decent broths with a few non-traditional twists and an interesting mix with milkshakes and pie - somehow it works, it is Fitzroy afterall!

Toilets - yes

Fukuryu Ramen on Urbanspoon
Shop Ramen on Urbanspoon

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