Ramen Crawl (Part 2)
Ramenites, we are reunited!
With the number of Japanese eateries rising in Perth, the team at Bento Box had to go get their ramen on again. Our never ending search continues to find the most authentic and quality ramen that Perth has to offer. This time around we are focusing on the restaurants that have popped up recently or establishments we did not get to experience in part 1 of our ramen crawl.
With any sequel, there is the risk that part 2 wont stand up to the standards set by part 1 but we think this one definitely has some standout contenders. With the help of some of our friends, we all hopped into the car and went to try out some of the newcomers to the ramen game, a ramen chain and a couple of places who pride themselves in serving your not everyday standard bowl of noodles.
In the food district of Waterford, Nom Star Ramen is located in the middle of the bustling plaza surrounded by a diverse range of eateries and a shopping centre. With lots of parking available both on the ground floor and on the roof, diners do not have to worry about time restrictions or paying for a parking ticket. People can be seen flooding through the area at all times of the day, sitting directly across the road from Curtin University, it’s no wonder that Nom Star is a hot spot for both locals, and uni students. Nom Star Ramen’s spacious, and modern venue provides a great atmosphere for a quick lunch or dinner with friends. With bountiful seating and natural lighting entering the restaurant, an inviting and approachable atmosphere oozes from Nom Star Ramen. Nom Star Ramen not only calls for ramenites, but also all food photographers and food bloggers! The presentation of all their dishes and natural lighting is killer for food photography.
Wait times for food and a table are minimal at Nom Star Ramen and to top it off, the colours from the ramen look killer when it reaches the table! Speaking of toppings, Nom Star Ramen add strictly quality ingredients to their dishes that you will definitely notice the second they touch your pallet. The noodles are cooked to perfection and are paired with eye catching, and vibrant toppings such as corn, peas, cabbage, egg, bamboo and our all time favourite cha shu (roasted pork) to name a few. Traditionally in Japan it is rude not to slurp your ramen, and is actually seen as an act of politeness. So don’t be afraid to fill Nom Star Ramen with a symphony of slurping just as we did. A warning for all diners, do not wear white. You will definitely be walking away from this eatery with a few soup stains.
As a side note, if you are returning to Nom Star Ramen and feel like trying something that isn’t ramen we would highly recommend ordering their delicious sides for a light lunch or dinner. A special shoutout goes to Nom Star Ramen’s chicken karaage. The crunch and crackle of the chicken karaage is out of this world. But don’t let it’s appearance deter you from how moist and juicy the meat is! Coupled with their creamy mayo and spicy sauce, this is a finger licking opportunity you do not want to miss out on. Are you a fan of baos? Why not pair the two together and have a chicken karaage bao. You will definitely be wanting more of those little guys, and order the trio next time (chicken karaage, cha shu and ox tongue).
Fat Fish Ramen
Calling all north of the river ramenites, we have finally found a place for you! Located close to the beach and amongst the new eatery hub in City Beach, Fat Fish Ramen is the perfect place for a casual lunch catch up with friends or with family. With bountiful parking surrounding the hub you can be sure to find a spot close by, and free of any time restrictions. Upon arrival, you are immediately amongst a community of people who you know love and appreciate food. Picture yourself on a roofed deck area on a Summer’s day with a cool breeze, slurping on some refreshing, flavour packed ramen. The cozy location creates a homely, villa-like setting which will make you feel like you are on holiday enjoying a meal with locals. Perfect spot to stop by before or after a visit to the beach, this is a place you definitely won’t want to leave.
Be warned, if you are looking for your classic ramen, you won’t find it here. However, if you are adventurous and thrive off new experiences you will love Fat Fish Ramen. Fat Fish Ramen add a twist to their ramen by adding toppings that you would not normally find in your everyday ramen. Did someone say salad? Fat Fish Ramen adds diced tomatoes, red onion and spring onions on top of some rocket to finish off their ramen, adding vibrancy and freshness. The colours come to life when your bowl hits the table and compliments the location to a T. The fresh salad provides a unique flavour contrast and helps strike that balance against the tasty broth.
To accompany your bowl or bowls of ramen be sure to order some sides! The Bento Box team want to give a huge shout out to Fat Fish Ramen’s takoyaki and pan-fried gyozas. Boasting some of the best flavours around, the takoyaki is served crisp with a delicious creamy octopus centre, whilst the gyoza’s are pan-fried to crispy golden perfection, and packed with a juicy pork filling. Melt-in-the-mouth and bursting with flavour, you can’t go wrong with either. You will surely be knocked out of the park with your visit to Fat Fish Ramen.
Finished grocery shopping in Northbridge and craving some ramen? Don’t want to walk or drive back into the city? well, this gem is a new spot which has popped up recently and can be found tucked away amongst the asian restaurants and grocery stores on William Street. The remote building sits alone just to the side of William Street which recreates the feeling of having dinner at a local restaurant whilst on a holiday. In saying so, with high foot traffic from locals who are grocery shopping, or eating at other restaurants, the chances of getting a parking spot is very unlikely. But if you are thinking about having lunch or dinner at Ramen Ichiraku with a group of people and want to stay for a longer period of time, we would highly suggest organising the occasion beforehand. Park in the city, walk in or take a Cat!
Upon entering the restaurant you’ll be greeted by some very friendly and helpful staff. For those starving ramen lovers, have no fear because your food will reach the table in a jiffy. You will be slurping your noodles and tucking into the sides before you know it. Ramen Ichiraku’s ramen noodles are cooked to a perfect consistency, whilst the broth has an amazing balance of salt and flavour. Ramenites who also like to order extra cha shu (roasted pork) on their ramen, rest assured because you will be frothing at the mouth with the quality of cha shu here. With just enough fat for flavouring as well as being generously portioned, that cha shu had us wanting more!
But we all know that the meat life isn’t for everyone, so Ramen Ichiraku offers some amazing vegetarian and vegan options. We sank our teeth into some vegan gochujang maze-men and was blown away by the flavours. For any ramenite who hasn’t heard of maze-men, maze-men is a ramen typically served brothless, with a sauce and at room temperature. Ramen Ichiraku’s hearty sauce is made with a combination of vegetables, including kombu (a type of seaweed) and shiitake mushrooms to create a richness that is often rendered in a standard pork broth. This dish is stacked with toppings and 100% lives up to the restaurants loose translation of “ramen is the best pleasure”.
Ever heard of feeding a family of four for under $30.00? Well do we have a place for you! Newcomer to the ramen game is none other than Ramen Boy, located south of the river in Willetton. Nestled amongst a small strip of eateries, Ramen Boy is surrounded by a shopping centre, skatepark, local basketball stadium, primary school and high school. With high foot traffic from locals you can find a lot of high school students and small families grabbing a meal at this cozy restaurant. But as the saying goes, ‘do not judge a book by its cover’, Ramen Boy may appear like a small eatery from the outside, but the second you step foot inside you quickly discover that the modern restaurant is quite spacious.
Ramen Boy may be late to the ramen game but they are brought to you by the awesome guys at Noodle Forum who first opened their doors in 2015. Known for their bamboo kneaded noodle, Noodle Forum pride themselves in making noodles fresh daily. It’s no wonder that Ramen Boy is so good, those guys really understand their noodles! Boasting that they have both the cheapest and best ramen in Perth, their smaller serving sizes and low end prices make it suitable for ramenites of all budgets to enjoy a bowl of hot steaming ramen. Through placing and picking up orders both at the counter, this eliminates a lot of waiting time. You can casually look at the menu for as long as you like without any pressure, and split bills with group orders by ordering separately.
Who can say no to more ramen though? With the option of free noodle refill when you are just about to finish your bowl, this might be the best thing we have ever heard of! What an incredibly unique option this is. You will not find free noodle refills at any other ramen or Japanese restaurant here in Perth. This totally excuses the serving size of their ramen. You could think of it as paying for a starter bowl and going for bottomless noodles. Perfect for those ramenites who have a smaller appetite and the ramenties who can devour a cow in one sitting. So get your ramen eating pants on and head over to Ramen Boy today. We guarantee you leaving this eatery very full and satisfied.
Gather your family or group of friends early in the morning and bring your fold out chair because you will be waiting in line for a while to get into this eatery. With 4 other locations east of us in Victoria, Hakata Gensuke has finally opened up their very first Perth store along the food strip on Albany Highway, in Victoria Park. With vast side parking and a carpark located at the shopping centre across the street you will have no trouble going to Hakata Gensuke. A long line of people can be found waiting to get inside for a meal way before opening hours everyday and they have been known for selling out before the end of lunch service. Talk about exclusive!
Upon entering the restaurant you are instantly welcomed by all the staff and absorbed into the high intensity, and fast paced atmosphere. If you are looking for a restaurant where you can sit for long periods of time then this is not the place for you. Surrounded by staff members who are busily changing tables over, and diners constantly coming in and out, you will not feel comfortable staying long. But if you want quality ramen for a quick meal Hakata Gensuke is killer. Hakata Gensuke’s traditional method of ordering food, which can be seen as a common way of ordering meals in Japan where diners are asked to fill out an ordering form before entering the restaurant grants them a high turnover rate. This also allows diners to receive their meals mistake and confusion free. Language and communication are no longer a barrier when it comes to ordering your meal at Hakata Gensuke.
With a wide selection of options, diners can make the decision on almost every aspect of their ramen such as the hardness of your noodle, toppings, and spice levels to create the perfect bowl of ramen that’s just right for you! Sticking to the basics, the traditional broths served up at Hakata Gensuke have been mastered over the years and you will have a hard time finding better across Perth. So what are you waiting for? Grab that chair and line up now, or you are going to miss out on some slurping goodness.
Eat Me Ramen Bar
Where do you go when you’re looking for something out of the ordinary? Something a little un-traditional? Look no further as this little ramen bar prides itself on serving a traditional Japanese dish with a modern twist. Located close to the shopping mall in the heart of City of Perth, Eat Me Ramen bar is calling out to all ramenites. Their menu boasts a range of different styles of ramen even the seasoned ramenite may not have ever tackled before. Whether it be the Midnight Sun featuring smoke roasted tomatoes or the Umami Bomb with an XO bomb and umami butter, you’re definitely going to be getting something a little different if you’re willing to be a bit adventurous.
For large groups the venue may be bit of a squeeze, but once settled in, you will instantly be absorbed by the ambience and intimacy of the venue. In a way, this is the most traditional aspect about Eat Me Ramen Bar. As we touched on in Ramen Crawl: Part 1, ramen shops in Japan are generally incredibly small and can only fit a handful of eaters. Once the bowls hit the table we were instantly impressed. Eat Me Ramen Bar’s twist on ramen definitely opened eyes around the table. We were all indulged by unique flavours that we have never thought about being paired together in a ramen dish. On a side note, make sure you’ve got your phone charged for a few snaps because their presentation is 100% on point and Instagram worthy.
We also want to give a shout out to Eat Me Ramen Bar’s awesome side dishes. The fried chicken is so juicy and bursting with flavour. Giving very generous portions for the price you pay, you’ll be wishing for more after that last bite. How about trying some ‘I’m Not Takoyaki’? All the same flavours you’d find on your traditional takoyaki but layered on top of some succulent chicken. Eat Me Ramen Bar is seriously serving up some creative dishes! The best part about our eating experience at Eat Me Ramen Bar is that we were able to be adventurous and try some non-traditional dishes. This meant that we were exposed to a whole new dining experience and who doesn’t want to broaden their horizons? We give this ramen bar two thumbs up! If you’re bored of the same ol’ ramen and want something a little different, head into the city and check out Eat Me Ramen Bar.
Work in the Perth CBD and craving ramen? Short on time and need something quick and easy? Well Hikaru Ramen is the place for you. Nestled away within the heart of the Perth CBD, Hikaru Ramen can be found on the busy business strip of St. Georges Terrace, surrounded by many corporate buildings, skyscrapers and other eateries. A little note from the Bento Box team, always double check, even triple check opening hours before you go anywhere to eat. Make sure to dig around on all their social media pages, website, google business information, Zomato page and call them so that you are 110% certain that they are trading. As we learnt the hard way (missing out on Ramen Crawl: Part 1), Hikaru Ramen is strictly only open for lunch on weekdays between 10am and 3pm. So plan your time wisely, get your walking shoes on or catch a cat (Transperth bus service).
This will not come as a surprise but you can be sure that you will also be surrounded by a lot of business people out on their lunch break when dining at Hikaru Ramen. Thriving off a fast paced environment, Hikaru Ramen offer both takeaway and dine in options that cater towards customers who are in a rush or have generous time allocations for lunch. The firmness of the ramen noodles are a perfect balance for the thicker style broth found at Hikaru Ramen. Who doesn’t love a rich hearty broth? Noodles that will fill you for days, you can also expect your ramen to be generously topped off with classic yummy toppings such as cha shu, egg, bamboo shoots, bean sprouts, spring onions and wood ear fungus. Noodle texture…tick, broth…tick, toppings…tick, quantity…tick, in our eyes that’s a solid two thumbs up.
For those adventurous ramenites who like to try something a little different, the Bento Box team would highly recommend Hikaru Ramen’s spicy meatball ramen. We know what you’re thinking, meatballs and ramen? That’s exactly what we thought as well but when this bowl arrived, boy oh boy we had no regrets at all. From the minute we bit into these meatballs there were ‘oooh’ and ‘aahhs’ all round the table. The meat balls were so generous in size and quantity, it makes the dish a total bang for your buck. These balls of joy were lightly fried and packed a huge punch with their juicy and tender centre. Partnered with delicious toppings, make sure to order this one next time you head into Hikaru Ramen. Grab a bowl and make sure to take a snap for the Gram because their presentation is on point.
Dosukoi is arguably the best ramen that Freo has to offer. Tucked away within the hustle and bustle of the Fremantle markets, make sure you keep an eye out for this place because even we walked right by it. You can expect your time at Dosukoi to be the exact same dining experience at a ramen shop in Japan. Small, narrow and practically elbows touching other diners seated besides you, at Dosukoi you will find that there is no separation between customer and staff. Practically eating right in front of the chef, what can be more authentic than that? Parking is bountiful in the area with lots of indoor and outdoor parking. If you’re not afraid of a short walk down to the markets you can also take in the local scenery or have a stroll by the beach before heading to the Fremantle markets. The entire marketplace is bursting with colour, entertainment and different cultures. Although the surrounding vendors all differ in nationality, we definitely felt like we were walking down the busy alleyways of Japan.
Being a hotspot for locals and tourists, you can expect crowds to flood through at all times of the day. As the Fremantle markets are only open Friday to Sunday you can be sure that there won’t be an empty street in sight. Having saying that, if you’re looking to grab a quick bowl of ramen, we highly suggest popping by around 11am or a little later in the afternoon around 2pm. With such a small narrow location, seating is quite limited and it’s unlikely to get a table on short notice between these times. This is definitely not a spot for big groups. If you do however happen to pop by during the lunch rush, place and pay for your order at the counter and the staff will flick you a text when your table is ready. Not to worry though because in that time you can browse the marketplace and check out the very talented street performers right outside the market entrances.
When your bowl of ramen hits the table it is just begging you to breathe it in. Dosukoi put their noodles and broth centre stage by not over crowding their dishes with too many toppings. It’s a great value meal minus the fancy bells and whistles. The ramen is not served in your standard sized bowls, but rather on the lighter side. This makes it the perfect place for those ramenites who may not have mammoth appetites. You can appreciate the flavours of a great ramen but not be overly full. This is a total bonus because there’s lots of room for their yummy sides and some cheeky dessert from the surrounding vendors in the marketplace. With the smaller serving size the Bento Box team would recommend heading in at 9am as soon as they open, and having some light ramen for breakfast! So if you are nearby or a international ramenite travelling around Fremantle and craving some ramen, Dosukoi is definitely the place for you.
Ramen places are becoming ever so more frequent, and we are always on the lookout for the most authentic and quality ramen that Perth has to offer. If there are any Ramen joints in Perth you think deserves a shout out from the Bento Box team, please let us know!