White chocolate and Wagyu beef aren’t two items you’d think go hand-in-hand. They do at Ramen & Izakaya Himeji, where the Wagyu in the beef tataki is fed white chocolate to sweeten the final product.

This is only one of many details found on the menu. Its building blocks are small, tapas-like dishes usually found in casual Japanese beer and grill houses called izakayas, but with a slight Western twist. It’s food made for drinking.

Owner Shozo Ikeda (Sushi Bar Genki) stays true to Japanese tradition by housing about 50 different types of sake. Ask politely and he’ll recommend a pairing to suit your meal. This is a great skill in a place that stocks Adelaide’s largest Japanese alcohol collection, including a range of single-malt whiskies and Kirin on tap.

The ramen is also made in-house, down to the noodles and rich pork-bone broth. This means there’s complete control in each step, to deliver a perfect end product.

This detail and care is visible right down to the interior design. The building once housed an Italian restaurant, Auge, but no trace of the former resident remains. Now it’s all black timber panelling and woodblock-style prints of pastoral Japanese landscapes.

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Updated: December 20th, 2018

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