Word spreads like wildfire whenever good ramen is found. So when Leigh Street hotspot Shobosho added ramen to its lunchtime menu about three years ago, ramen hunters descended. Demand for the broth and noodles struck a chord with diners, even extending to a pandemic home delivery system.
Now, you can get all-hours access at Shomen, a hole-in-the-wall ramen shop right next door. The former site of Pink Moon Deli and Low & Slow’s city offshoot has been given a few touch-ups: the timber frontage has been stained to match Shobosho's blackened interior and drapes hung to enclose the serving area.
There are four ramens on the menu – a shio pork ramen with smoked-bacon bone broth and spit-roast pork; a mushroom one with chickpea miso, enoki and shiitakes; a hearty Korean army stew with a smoked cheese kransky, spam and kimchi; and one with beef short rib, beef-and-anise broth, Wagyu-and-water-chestnut dumplings and gai lan (Chinese broccoli) – all served with chewy house-made egg noodles (or a seaweed-based vegan version), a soy egg and nori.
The ramen is made in pressure cookers, which intensifies the stock and flavour, says chef and co-owner Adam Liston. “It’s very much the common man’s food,” he says. “I just like how there is no hiding in it. Everything has to be perfect.”
Other than soup, there's burgers, katsu sandos, noodles and fried chicken. There’s also a take on the classic Hainanese chicken rice, served here with tea-smoked duck. The licensed venue also has a tight drinks list, including Yebisu Premium Malt Beer, which lines the front cabinet.
Sit out front, where Shobosho has extended its outdoor dining capacity by 30 seats, or roll up to the takeaway window to grab and go. Best of all, for late-night revellers, Shomen will stay open till late on weekends.
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