From secret ramen bars without signage to cult-status broth brewers and iconic foodie mainstays, here’s where to warm up with a giant bowl of Melbourne’s best ramen.
Unabara Lobster and Oyster Bar
Fresh Aussie seafood, cooked with Japanese precision. Unabara in Melbourne Central simmers its ramen broth for 16 hours, infusing it with lobster bisque and akamiso (red soy bean paste). Flex your creative flair with the DIY ramen. You can customise your bowl to perfectly suit your palate from broth to toppings. Add on half a lobster tail, enoki mushrooms or slices of tender pork belly. Then dial up the spice level.
Ototo ramen lunch special
Head underground at Ototo between 11am and 3pm, Tuesday to Friday, and score ramen and a beer for $24. Choose from spicy double pork with buttered sweet corn, or smoked duck ramen with black garlic. Vego ramen with fried tofu and shimeji mushroom is also on the menu. Check out more Melbourne lunch deals.
When a world-famous ramen shop opens a separate branch devoted to its chicken broth, you know it’s going to be good. The laser-sharp focus at Hakata Gensuke’s QV location is best seen in the signature tori ramen, a $16 simple-seeming bowl adorned with spring onion, bamboo shoots and chicken chashu.
What’s cooler than a tiny robot-themed laneway bar projecting anime from the ceiling? The neighbouring ramen shop with a secret basement bar. Located down Bligh Place off Flinders Lane with essentially no signage, it’s not hard to skip right over Mugen. But it’s worth a detour for their classic ramen and tsukemen (dipping ramen). Order side dishes to share and crack a few bevs downstairs.
When the frost settles in, Melburnians eagerly await the silver lining of winter. The return of Supernormal’s steamy house ramen. Andrew McConnell’s pan-Asian canteen does beautifully executed takes on classic Asian food. Visit between 12pm and 3pm on weekdays, grab a seat at the bar and slurp down a power lunch. Supernormal innovates and elevates this classic dish to dreamy levels.
Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen
Established in 1970, this ramen chain has since gone global, including here in Melbourne. Australia’s first Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen is the perfect place to get a bowl of Japanese noodle soup just how you like it. There are oodles of options, including several types of broth, noodle textures, extra toppings, and even vegetarian and vegan versions. You can even bring the kids along for the adorable five dollar lunch special!
Mr Ramen San
Hidden in one of Melbourne’s most underrated arcades, Mr Ramen San is a cosy spot serving some of the city’s best ramen. Their soup is made in the traditional Kyushu style, with pork bones in white broth. Charsu (roast pork) is char-grilled with peppercorns before serving. Vegan and vegetarian options are also available.
Born in Japan and imported to the mouths of Melburnians in 2018, visit QV for Ippudo’s world-famous ramen. The chefs do ramen three ways but the go-to dish here is the shiromaru motoaji. A creamy pork bone tonkotsu broth with the signature secret dashi, thin noodles and melt-in-your-mouth pork. Leave room for sides like seared salmon sushi rolls.
This Chinatown eatery will transport you to the izakaya bars of Japan. The team at Musashi Ramen have been perfecting their family recipe for ramen for over 25 years. Try the black tora with pork broth and black garlic oil. It’s a punchy symphony of rich, aromatic flavours. Or roll up your sleeves for the midnight ramen. It comes on a portable grill so you can simmer it to the perfect temperature to warm your belly.
More ramen spots
Quick and easy ramen for lunch or dinner in the Galleria shopping arcade.
In Elizabeth Street, this busy late-night Japanese joint serves tonkotsu ramen.
Last updated on Thu 24 Nov 2022
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