Housed in part of the old Café Asia building in Monger Street, Northbridge, is one of the newer ramen bars which seem to be springing up everywhere these days, Ramen Ichiraku. It is a quite small space – maybe places for two dozen diners, with a couple of additional tables under a covered patio out front, which should prove popular as the weather warms up.
We dropped in for lunch on Friday and tried a couple of bowls of their well-made noodles – the first Rich Hakata Tonkotsu – with a thicker than normal pork flavoured broth, topped with a soft boiled, Ajitsuke egg, braised marinated pork belly (Chashu), fungus, bamboo shoots, spring onions and spicy bean sprouts – a side of spiced pork was added to “pork” it up a touch – nicely flavoured, and a good sized bowl.
The second was their well-advertised Red Dragon Fire described as not for the faint (or feint on the menu) hearted – I tried the vegan version – with Wood Ear fungus, bean sprouts, bamboo, bean sprouts and sweet corn – again pleasantly flavoured broth but if there was any chilli in that it must have been in miniscule quantity – that was disappointing and even the addition of red pepper powder failed to lift it to anywhere near the described level of heat. No fire in this Red Dragon, I fear!
They are unlicensed, but happy with BYO, although water glasses are the only drinking vessels available – but that was fine for our bottle of Myattsfield rosé which washed down our meals.
If you are after a well put together and tasty bowl of ramen, then this should be on your list – if you are looking for chilli heat you may be disappointed if my Red Dragon Fire was anything to go by….