In Asia, there is a tradition of going to the shops just to eat at the food court or shopping centre restaurants. Australia is catching up, with places like Cityfields at Chadstone, CDMX and even Byrdi, both at Melbourne Central.

Ramen Ramen, an unassuming noodle shop in The Glen Shopping Centre’s food court, opened just before Easter, and is adding to the growing list of great shopping centre food offerings around town.

The fast-casual spot is from Geoff San, a former auto engineer who spent a lot of time in Japan during his early career due to his work with Mazda. He made the change to hospitality seven years ago, and tells Broadsheet he spent his time in hospitality developing his Japanese culinary skills. San also owns Ichiro Izakaya in Burwood East, and seeing the success of its ramen menu, decided to open a shop dedicated to the noodles. After four years of research and development, he launched Ramen Ramen.

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The fit-out here is inspired by the ramen shops San frequented in Japan, with blond wood bars, Japanese lanterns and dividers that offer privacy to solo diners and can be removed for diners in a group. While you can eat in the greater food court, each seat attached to the restaurant has a view of mini display cases filled with figurines of characters from Japanese pop culture institutions, including Pokémon, the Studio Ghibli film My Neighbour Totoro, Doraemon and Dragon Ball Z.

While many fast-casual ramen shops rely on broth concentrates, Ramen Ramen’s is made fresh in-house using a combination of chicken and pork for a rich and creamy soup. The Kyushu or tonkotsu broth is simmered for 24 hours and paired with wavy, three-day-aged wheat noodles, plus toppings like chicken katsu.

There’s a vegan-friendly vegetable ramen made with kombu broth; a verdant matcha ramen with smoky sous-vide duck fillet; and several mazemen (broth-less ramen).

Naturally, after a big bowl of savoury broth, you’d crave something sweet. Ramen Ramen offers yuzu and matcha soft serve (available solo or in a swirl) starting at just $4 for a cone, and canned and bottled Japanese soft drinks.

Ramen availability is limited, and though the restaurant is open until 8.30pm on Thursdays and Fridays and until 4pm all other days, dishes are known to sell out before then, so it pays to arrive early.

Ramen Ramen (at The Glen)
Food Court, Shop G51/235 Springvale Road, Glen Waverley
No phone

Mon to Wed 11am–4pm
Thurs & Fri 11am–8.30pm
Sat & Sun 11am–4pm