Saturday, 13 April 2013

Little Ramen Bar

346 Lt Bourke St 
Melbourne, VIC 3000

Nothing excites me as much as ramen. Not only because it’s the most delicious noodle soup after pho, but also because there is more or less a complete dearth of good ramen in Melbourne. Every now and then a place proclaiming authentic ramen pops up, but I’m always left disappointed. However that didn’t stop the surge of hope when I spotted Little Ramen Bar.  

We were the eagerest of beavers, rocking up at 6 on the dot. We had the place to ourselves for about 5 minutes, and then people started making their way in, hungry like we were for a bowl of hot noodle soup. The interior was cosy and bright, and the staff adorably attentive. Unfortunately the small space and open door also made for a fairly draughty dining experience, so hopefully they close the door when the weather gets a bit colder. 

Chashu Tamago Ramen ($12.9)

I ordered my perennial favourite – Chashu Tamago Ramen ($12.9). The classic bowl of noodles in cloudy pork broth was garnished with extra slices of BBQ pork, a soft-boiled egg, and all the right trimmings. I was really happy with this bowl of noodles; the soup tastes like the kind mum makes by simmering pork bones for the best part of a day, the pork was melt-in-the-mouth, the egg was gooey and creamy, and the noodles themselves were bouncy and toothsome. Even the trimmings were done right. 

Hokkaido Ramen ($12.5)

Hokkaido Ramen ($12.5)

On the other hand, Chris ordered the Hokkaido Ramen ($12.5), which came in a miso broth with a combo the Japanese seem to love – butter and corn.  Chris called this dish a disappointment after tasting the chashu ramen, and whilst I see where he’s coming from, I enjoyed this bowl as well. It no longer has that porky savouriness to it; instead it’s been replaced with a creamier, miso-based soup. The noodles were just as well done, and whilst the vegetarian toppings were a bit too virtuous, I did like the crunchy sweet corn. It’s not as addictive as the chashu ramen, but it’ll find its own niche with time.

Little Ramen Bar still isn’t the Japanese noodle Mecca I’ve been longing for, but it’s a lot better than most ramens I’ve had in Melbourne. It’s a small, cosy place, best for a quick bowl of noodles. Be quick though, as it’s already picking up momentum; I walked past it at 7:30pm a few days later and it was packed to the brim.

Rating: 13.5/20 – getting there! 

Little Ramen Bar on Urbanspoon


  1. I am so confused. You said great things about the ramen. But you have them 13.5 on your scale. And Ramenya gets a 13? While you go all nuts on how the egg, noodles were all wrong at Ramenya. Your rating scale is all off. I've eaten at both places and Ramenya doesn't compare with Little Ramen Bar. So with that said.....your whole site is unreasonable. If you give Ramenya a 13.5, Little Ramen Bar should be getting at least a 15. You need to know your food before you start writing all these blog posts about them.

    1. Hi Dave, thank you for your input! I understand that my rating system may be a little confusing, but in the end it is how I felt about the meal at the time. Over the course of my blogging, my tastes have changed, and subsequently, the scale I rate them on. If I were to visit ramen-ya again, I would probably rate it 11/20 or so. Nevertheless, I appreciate your opinion, and I'll take your criticism aboard.

    2. Eloquently replied! :) I felt I am the same... when I put rating on my food blog, I wonder if I do give scores consistently because as you said, my tastes changes too (and I hope more refined) over the years.... :S It is hard sometimes.

    3. Hola, thanks for dropping by :) I agree, it is quite hard sometimes; I do occasionally look back at old posts and think 'wow what were my tastebuds thinking' but hey, it's a learning experience and the journey is hella fun :)

  2. @Dave: What I find unreasonable is deriving the entire worth of a blog, which takes time and care to describe the food with thousands of WORDS, from a single number at the bottom of the screen. I have used this blog on numerous occasions and have found myself enjoying food in restaurants that I may have never discovered. You seem to think it constructive criticism to tell a developing blogger to stop writing; let me pass on some of my own: judging a blog based on two posts comes off as petty, narrow minded and, frankly, stupid. Stop it.