A ramen expert once said: “remember to order the kae-dama (refill noodles) before the broth gets cold.”

It’s common Japanese knowledge and it means to strike while the iron is hot. For example, the way in which Hakata Gensuke has just opened its second branch in Hawthorn after selling more than 50,000 bowls of ramen since August last year.

On top of its usual menu of four ramen: signature tonkotsu, black sesame, scorching God Fire and shio salt-based tonkotsu ramen, this new branch offers exclusive dishes such as the Aka Tonkotsu Ramen (a mixture of spicy cod roe paste and the original broth) and Mentai Gohan (Japanese pearl steamed rice topped with spicy cod roe).

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The spicy cod roe (mentaiko) is the hero ingredient at Hakata Gensuke and is a staple dish in the Hakata ward of Fukuoka. Originally from Korea, it adds extra spice and umami into any meal. Some love it so much they even eat it with pasta.

Die-hard fans should be happy to know that this branch fits twice as many patrons than the Russell Street branch does, which means shorter queues and less time waiting for the silky pork bone goodness in a bowl.

Hakata Gensuke

Tenancy 4, 860–862 Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn

(03) 9819 2558


Daily 12pm–3pm, 5pm–10pm