Wednesday 22 August 2007

Ryo’s Noodles

So I’m sitting in this ramen joint in Hakata off the main road, walls coated in a sunflower yellow, the menu in old school traditional Japanese calligraphy stroked on aged tan tinged paper decorates, as do a few Maneki Neko (lucky cats) which reputedly bring good luck and customers. They seem to be doing their job, the place is packed and the wait for a table longer than a woman takes to get ready for a gala event. During this idle period, Yaris humming stomach, I try to decipher the Hiragana with little success but lucky they cater for the gai-jin with an English menu that lists and describes each item. Thank goodness, I’m tiring of the hit-and-miss nature of blindly pointing at the choices. I point anyway, to the chicken and salt ramen, tonkotsu ramen, katsu curry and pork rice balls. “Thank you very much!” in a cute Japanese melody, then scuttling away to the kitchen. I’m embarrassed I didn’t move my lips to expel air to order.

Faster than a loop around Sydney’s monorail, the ramen arrives piping hot. The delectable broth shimmers and glistens from the fat on the surface, no need to be skimmed because it only adds to the flavour, and kilos to the buttock and stomach region. It’s a thick, rich and sensationally smooth liquid of smoky pork flavour. Scoop it up with the delicately roasted thin slices of the pork char siu and el dente noodles. Time to kneel, I think I can see the Ramen Deity.

Satisfying the ramen fetish, the curry here is Dwayne Johnson, the Rock, the people’s champion. Guggenheim, unique yet pleasantly different, golden crunchy crumbed cutlet of pork is softened by a boisterous proportion of homemade Japanese curry that has fine fibres of beef and pickled vegetables stewed in. Deliciously and dangerously tasty. I wish they took internet orders and delivered.

That doesn’t fill you up, have the fist sized pork rice balls, tightly bound cooked grains taking on a deep smoky BBQ pork flavour with flaked pork meat tightly bound by a piece of nori. Yum yum indeed.

Adjusting my belt buckle receives a few glares as I exit the venue. Stepping through the white sheets that adorn the entrance, WHAT!? Falcon St!? Crows Nest?! I swear I was in…

4 / 5 yums!


Where? 125 Falcon St, Crows Nest, NSW

What? Average Main $10

Left to Right : Chicken and Salt Ramen, Tonkotsu Ramen, Extra Pork Slices, Pork Rice Balls, Katsu Curry

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