Little Ramen Bar

Little Ramen Bar
346 Little Bourke St Melbourne
03 9670 5558

Melbourne is in some dire need of an awesome ass kicking ramen joint.  Mind you, I love Don Too ramen, however, as they are only open for dinner it can’t satisfy my ramen craving at all hours (esp lunch time).  Normally when my craving hits I had to give a big loud sigh and go for mediocre ramen at Ramen Ya.  Urgh.

photo 1 [640x480]Thankfully, all this has changed since the arrival of Little Ramen Bar.  Little Ramen Bar is a new kid on the block but it’s definitely gained a cult following.  Our first visit was at lunch time on an early weekday but there is a slight queue already.  The second time we went for dinner, and even 15 mins before opening time there is a queue forming.  When we left, the queue rivalled Shanghai St Dumplings next door.  Amazeballs.

photo 3 [640x480]On our first visit we went for the seafood ramen (with an extra egg on my serve).  I must say the amount of seafood in this bowl of noodles are crazy.  A plethora of mussels, pipis, calamari featured in this bowl of noodle soup. That being said, it’s not all fresh.  Some of the seafood are also a bit overcooked, which meant things like calamari can be quite tough and chewy.  I do love the soup though- the flavours had depth and it tasted fresh.

The egg, at a first glance seemed pretty tasteless, however when I took the first bite I realised it has been marinated.  Yum.  I would prefer the yolk to be slightly more gooey.

The noodles, which is of course the most important thing in this bowl is very good.  I still like Don Too noodles better, but hey, this is WAYYYY better than Ramen Ya.

photo 4 [640x480]Second time we visited, I encouraged my dining companions to get some gyoza with me.  I like the gyoza, the skin was thin and it had the perfect amount of crispiness to it.

photo 5 [640x480]This time, I tried their miso ramen (sorry about the pic) with extra egg.  I really don’t understand why the egg is not standard.  Also, I have never seen so much random vegies in ramen (loads of carrot and cabbage) and not a seaweed in sight.  Of course, I am not a Japanese so I cannot really say this is incorrect, but from the multiple times I travelled to Japan I felt this ramen is not very authentic.  The menu also mentioned that this ramen is “topped with BBQ Pork” but all I can see is broken pieces of pork floating around.

If you can look past all these, it’s actually a very nice, hearty bowl of not-very- authentic ramen.  I chose the spicy miso ramen, but you can definitely choose non-spicy or medium spicy versions.  This is not crazy spicy, but delivers a little bit of heat (then again I don’t think the Japanese use a lot of chillis- except in chilli competitions!).  The BBQ Pork, whilst relatively broken into really small pieces were flavoursome and tender and the vegies made me feel slightly better about eating such vein clogging bowl of noodles.

photo 2 [640x480]Overall, if you can accept that this is not a very authentic ramen joint with really nice flavoursome noodle soup in relatively cheap prices (I think they are priced at about $10-14 per bowl), then you are in for a treat.  7/10

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