Menya San Daime

Menya San Daime
225 Russell St, Melbourne

About 2 years ago, finding a good ramen joint in the Melbourne CBD is like finding hen’s teeth. Nowadays, it seemed as if they are everywhere, which is fantastic for a ramen lover like me!

Upon entering Menya Sandaime, I was greeted by a lone waitress, unlike Hakata G where greetings rang throughout the store. Menya do not have high chairs, which meant I had to lean over and feed Hangry Piglet in his rather large pram.

I ordered the spicy ramen plus a side for char Siu ($3) for Hangry Piglet. The ramen came in a huge bowl, and it looked like any other ramen. It showed no indication that it was spicy at all. The spiciness was fairly lame to be honest. I love a kick to my food and if I want hot stuff, I want them HAWT.

Ramen-wise, the noodles are actually firmer than Hakata’s, even though at Hakata’s I normally order extra firm. The noodles managed to retain it’s firmness through the whole dining experience, which was fantastic.

The char siu, oh man the char siu. It was thoroughly melt in your mouth with a nice smokey flavour. Normally I barely touch the char siu but this was so delicious that I finished it all, and even took some of Hangry Piglet’s (cos surely a baby of 10 months can’t finish two pieces of pork belly right?! *avoids baby’s accusing glare*)

The egg (half) was beautifully cooked with a gooey yolk which was delish.

The verdict? Although there are many good things about Menya Sandaime,on of the key things in a ramen for me is the broth because that’s where you get the all the flavour from. The noodles is a vehicle to deliver the flavour and the eggs and pork are just there to enhance the flavour. I wanted a spicy broth yet they failed to deliver. So if you don’t get the broth right, I felt that it’s a bit of a fail in my eyes.

I also found Menya’s service wasn’t as enthusiastic and helpful as Hakata, and with that I have decided that should I be in the area I will most definitely choose Hakata before Menya.

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