Thursday, 12 December 2013

Mr Ramen San

791 Glenferrie Road 
Hawthorn, VIC 3122

Enter the arena, Mr Ramen San. I know I shouldn’t get my hopes up, especially not after my trip to Japan earlier this year, but I still get incredibly excited every time I hear about a new ramen restaurant. After (and even before) having one of the best things I’ve ever eaten at the Ramen Museum in Yokohama, I’ve forever been searching for the elusive bowl of noodles that makes my taste buds dance the same way. 

Mr Ramen San is a brand spanking new addition to the top end of Hawthorn Road, and it shows. The interior is bubbly and fun, and the staff are equally as keen and friendly.

Takoyaki ($5.8, 5 pieces)

I love it when restaurants serve their Takoyaki ($5.8, 5 pieces) with a generous amount of topping, and these were practically lost under the onslaught of mayo, takoyaki sauce, and bonito flakes. Unfortunately the takoyaki themselves were rather average – decently creamy with the right flavour, but just not enough octopus.

Kaarage Chicken ($6)

Our serve of Kaarage Chicken ($6) was a lot smaller than the picture and price made it out to be, but tasted more than adequate. Though a tad dry, they had a satisfyingly crispy exterior, and the gentle spices were placid yet flavoursome.

Charshu Tonkotsu Ramen ($12)

And then the piece de resistance – a bowl of Charshu Tonkotsu Ramen ($12). It was small-ish but a very elegantly presented bowl that looked like it meant business, but how did it stack up in terms of taste?

Charshu Tonkotsu Ramen ($12)

On the up side, the slices of charshu practically dissolved on the tongue in a burst of smoky porkiness, and the house-made noodles were thick and bouncy. But whilst the soup definitely had no MSG (as advertised), it verged a bit towards bland with only a very shy hint of collagen hiding in there.

Mr Ramen San serves up a decent, if not entirely memorable bowl of noodles. It is also a few dollars pricier than what you’d expect to pay for the same thing elsewhere, but it’s certainly one of the nicer places to eat, with a fresh interior and staff that don’t try and rush you out the moment your bowl is clean. Unfortunately still not the one, but you can certainly do worse.

Rating: 12.5/20 – still looking for the one. 
This rating reflects my personal experience at the time of visit. 

Mr. Ramen San on Urbanspoon

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