If you’ve seen Tampopo, the 1985 Japanese film, you’ll be familiar with the scene in which an elderly master teaches his student how to properly eat the famed noodle dish, ramen.
In the film, known as Japan’s original ‘ramen western’, the student is first shown how to ‘caress’ the porky broth with his chopsticks in order to show appreciation, before learning how to correctly slurp and savour each mouthful.
It’s made clear in Tampopo just how seriously the Japanese take their ramen and it seems that this appreciation for the iconic dish can also be found at the new Little Ramen Bar in the CBD.
Here at this Little Bourke Street hole-in-the-wall, ramen reigns supreme and comes in a number of varieties that will suit all tastes from the traditionalists to the more adventurous. You can be sure it will satisfy the most ravenous of diners (if you’re not convinced you can opt for the ‘Godzilla’ size).
Indeed, chefs Michio Kurihara and Vianne Cheng realise that it’s best not to mess with a good thing. The Classic Tonkotsu Ramen is made with a rich, milky broth for which the almost gelatinous texture can only be achieved after 10 hours of cooking. It’s thanks to this kind of dedication that you can be sure you’ll be ‘caressing’ your broth too.
While ramen may steal the show here, other dishes such as the tender pork gyoza dumplings, kimchi and wok-fried rice will also be sure to please hungry crowds.
Lined with vintage Sapporo posters (and serving Sapporo Draught beer on tap), Little Ramen Bar is the perfect place to hide from Melbourne’s fast approaching wintery weather.
Little Ramen Bar
5/346 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne
(03) 9670 5558
Mon to Sat 12pm-2.30pm
Mon to Sat 6pm-8.30pm