Ramen-Ya has been on the Melbourne food scene since 2007. Their original restaurant is located at GPO, along an alleyway of sorts (of course, it’s Melbourne). Their primary cuisine is Japanese Ramen, but they also offer a selection of bento boxes. To keep you reassured, this is an authentic Japanese eatery, and quite a popular one at that, with another Ramen-Ya located further down on Bourke St.
Oddly enough, I ordered something not particularly authentic but becoming quite popular in Japanese restaurants. I saw many Japanese restaurants in Vancouver that had Korean fusion dishes. The Korean flavour to this ramen dish adds an interesting taste to the dish. It’s a bit sour and a tad spicy and mostly what Kimchi is. You can pick your soup base too, I chose the Miso one just to be a little different. I found it to be intriguing combination but the only downside is that the soup was lukewarm, and by the time you finish it, it’s basically cold! Other than that, it’s a delightful dish that’s mostly vegetarian apart from the charshu but having the soup hot would have made me like it even more.
Ramen-Ya’s Chicken Teriyaki bento is also nicely prepared. The chicken teriyaki has that usual teriyaki flavour, it needs a bit of the Japanese chilli powder just to give it a bit of a kick but the chicken was well cooked and seasoned. Really, what more could you ask for.
I really liked the taste of the Beef Sukiyaki, the beef is nice and soft and the sauce (albeit it’s on the sweet side) is delicious. You can get salad and miso soup, or any dish, for a small sum if you’re eager to round out your meal. The bite sized gyoza had a very substantial flavour to the filling, with that hint of ginger, and freshly cooked is also very pleasing.
Ramen-Ya serves up authentic Japanese cuisine that is certain to delight people’s tastebuds. You can really see why people come back for more but I really do hope the lukewarm soup base for my Ramen was a one time mistake (it was also an extremely warm day) as it can really detract from your dining experience. I never am quite satisfied when eating cold food that is supposed to be warm, it just doesn’t fill you up in the same way.
Shop 25G Melbourne GPO
350 Bourke St
Melbourne VIC 3000
Jalan Alor is small Malaysian restaurant in Melbourne’s China Town. It’s part of the renovated walkway that once held Village Cinemas, if you can remember that far back! At times you might be hard pressed to find seating as this restaurant seats is extremely low. If you do get a chance to eat here, it is worth it.
Their Curry with King Prawns tastes just as good as it looks. With the tomato and eggplant giving it a nice flavour, along with the pleasant curry taste. It is a surprisingly good dish to order.
I found the Char Kway Teoh on this occasion to be slightly overcooked. It had a slight burnt taste to some of the noodles but it didn’t spoil the whole dish so I set the few strands of noodles aside. Other than that, it was quite tasty. It had the crispy lard that not many places cook with so that sets it apart from other Malaysian restaurants. I asked for spicy but it was not spicy at all so not sure what happened there. Overall, it was nice but there are some let downs as I mentioned before.
Their Char Hor Fun was quite nice. There are some varying styles of this dish, some don’t cook the kway teoh in the wok as much (or at all) but I prefer it when they do. Jalan Alor does this and it’s great. It has that nice “wok flavour” as some puts it. The egg base sauce is also tasty. It is definitely hard to do a bad egg sauce though.
Iced Red Bean Drink with Coconut Milk is also another winner. It’s not too sweet, nice and chilly on a warm day. The red beans add the sweetness to the drink, and the coconut milk add that creaminess. I’d order it again!
The food at Jalan Alor is quite good, along with their drinks. However, I found their service to be slightly lacking. The waitress’s didn’t know what fresh chillies are. For a Malaysian restaurant, I feel that’s severely disappointing. When we asked for a plate to put the rice on for the Curry with King Prawns dish (the bowl was too small!), she didn’t know what we were talking about and had to ask another one of the staff. The other staff asked if we would like a small plate and it seemed like it was a lot of effort for them to bring one out.
Other than that, I’d go back again. I have been there a couple of times, but this was my most recent experience.
7/206 Bourke St
Melbourne VIC 3000