Ramen Danbo opened its first store in Chikushino on the southern Japanese island of Kyushu in 2000. And it might have stayed only there if it hadn’t managed to top a Japanese television poll of the best ramen joints in Fukuoka Prefecture. The shop’s popularity blew up, and soon Ramen Danbo had locations across Kyushu, and then Japan – and then the world.
In 2019, a store arrived on Merivale Street in South Brisbane (following a 2017 launch in Southport that quickly became one of the Gold Coast’s most celebrated ramen spots).
Australian restaurants sometimes have a habit of gussying up ramen, but Ramen Danbo follows the lead of other Brisbane joints such as Taro’s, I Like Ramen, Hai Hai, Genkotsu and Hakataya, offering high quality food at a reasonable price.
The noodle soup that made Ramen Danbo so popular in Japan is a pork bone tonkotsu broth enlivened with a house-made special sauce. The soup is run through a specially imported Japanese filter that helps maintain consistency across the chain’s many stores.
Ramen Danbo lets you fine-tune noodle firmness, richness and spice, and the shop has vegan and vegetarian alternatives that Hosaka-Zaniewski is particularly proud of. The vegan dish uses a miso base with kombu stock.
Beyond noodle soup, Ramen Danbo serves regional-style gyoza and imported beers from brewers such as Asahi, Orion and Suntory Premium Malts, with plum wine available for non-beer drinkers.