Food adventure @ Hakata Gensuke Ramen
Good news for the ramen fans out there: another ramen restaurant, Hakata Gensuke, has opened in Melbourne. Despite having only opened just two weeks ago, it seems the chimes of irrashaimase from Melbourne’s latest ramen restaurant have brought all the folks to their yard, with some patrons queuing for over an hour! I was invited to visit the restaurant during their media soft launch, and I would like to thank Hakata Gensuke Ramen for this opportunity.
A combination of a cosy venue + the promise of good food = busy busy.
I must say the gyozas were the tiniest I have ever seen; somewhere between two to three of them would have equated to one standard-sized gyoza. But what they lacked in size, they made up for in taste. The pork presence in the filling was sweet while the spring onion provided bite. The skins were spot on silky light but if you were being picky, could have done with a little more crisping up.
The chicken pieces were moist and juicy and coated in a thin layer of somewhat crunchy batter. The wow factor came in the form of the salt accompaniment, which provided a finger licking good combination of umami and saltiness.
While their ramen soup base options are few, each order is customised to suit the patron’s preference in noodle texture, toppings and the extent of umami’ness in the soup base.
Signature tonkotsu - Hakata traditional pork bone noodle soup.
The broth of their signature dish packed a full body of fragrant flavouring and managed to do without leaving the urge to reach for the water glass between bites.
The noodles were perfectly chewy in texture (I selected the normal option). The thin slice of pork was light and tender.
Missing that golden brown tinge on the outside, I prepared myself for bland and boring as I broke into the flavoured egg. To my surprise and delight, it was anything but. The oozy egg yolk was wonderfully runny and got my taste buds going just at the mere sight of it. The flesh of the egg was just as flavoured as the browner version of itself.
Black tonkotsu - black sesame & roasted garlic pork bone noodle soup.
The sesame and garlic pairing brought an aromatic punch of flavour that blew my taste buds away. But for both mine and Fred’s palate, it was too heavy for our liking. I only had to take one bite, but Fred had to finish the whole bowl! Plus half a litre of water to compensate for the overpowering taste…
With the heights of our meal leaving quite an impression, it’s not hard to see why the fans and curious folk are lining up to give this place a go. For those willing to line up: at least there’s some warmer weather around the corner…
Disclosure: the opinions expressed in this post are based entirely on my experience and observations made during the time of my visit.
Hakata Gensuke Ramen
168 Russell St,
Melbourne, Victoria, 3000.
(03) 9654 4040