Yokozuna located in Chadstone Shopping Centre is a Japanese eatery specialising in ramen. Yokozuna has a few different flavoured broths to choose from to go with your ramen such as Tonkotsu, Red Ramen, Vegetable Ramen, and they even had a Black Sesame flavoured broth as an option too. While, Yokozuna specialise in ramen, they also offer bento boxes, rice and udon dishes as well so there’s plenty to choose from.
The Spicy “Red Ramen” with Pork had a lovely spicy broth. You can’t choose how your noodles are cooked unfortunately and the noodles weren’t nearly enough for the price charged.
Fried Chicken Ramen with sauce (Karaage) had a lovely flavour to it. However, when they first gave us this dish the chicken was to the point of being burnt. While they did replace it with a new batch, that was tender and moist. It’s disappointing that they tried to give us burnt chicken in the first place.
The Black Ramen is ramen with a black sesame flavoured broth, it has a slight sweetness to it with the aroma and taste of toasted black sesames. Interesting flavour, but one I probably couldn’t eat the whole thing of as I found it oddly rich.
The Matcha Latte is frothy, but overly milky, not enough green tea flavour and not smooth at all as you can taste the green tea powder while drinking it.
Yokozuna is unfortunately quite mediocre in all aspects. While there are some positives, there are plenty of better choices for ramen in Melbourne and better choices for food in Chadstone Shopping Centre as well.
Chadstone Shopping Centre, Upper Level
1341 Dandenong Road
Malvern East VIC 3148
On our first half day to Vancouver, just minutes away from our hotel we found Ramen Sanpachi. We arrived after lunch peak so seating wasn’t an issue and after eating predominantly French and Western cuisine for a week or so we were craving something a bit asian. Luckily, around Robson Street, and the West End there are plentiful Japanese eateries around to choose from.
Ramen Sanpachi as the name suggest, serves up ramen with your choice of soup base. It’s something I’ve never really found back in Melbourne apart from one or two restaurants from my recollection. They have six different soup stocks; Miso, Shoyu, Spicy, Shio, Yatai and Tonkotsu.
I ordered the Gyoza and Ramen with Miso base for something different. I didn’t feel the soup base tasted like Miso but seemed more of the generic ramen soup stock with a tad sourness. It’s a large serve, and luckily I was in a group because I couldn’t finish the Gyoza all by myself. The ramen was nicely cooked, not too soggy and and just enough bite to it. I didn’t really have an opinion either way with this dish, it was neither spectacular or disastrously bad.
The Gyoza was nice and crispy on the outside, had a gingery meat filling inside. The pastry to filling ratio was what I preferred as I don’t like my gyoza/dumplings to be too meaty.
We also ordered the Spicy soup base for Cha-Shu. I actually really loved the taste of the spicy stock base, it wasn’t overwhelmingly spicy but just gently tingles your tongue and adds something extra to the stock which is lacking in the Miso. Maybe adding Togarashi to the soup would have made it better but this by itself was quite delicious.
Also ordered was the Spicy Ramen which has a similar taste to the Cha-Shu ramen with Spicy soup stock and has basically all the same ingredients, corn, slices of pork, Japanese mushrooms. Again, the spicy stock makes the dish. It’s probably because you hardly get that back in Melbourne but might be very common in Vancouver.
Ramen Sanpachi isn’t the tastiest Japanese restaurant I’ve dined in but I didn’t mind the food. As mentioned before, it’s above good. Nearly great, but not quite there. They serve large dishes that would most definitely satisfy you on a cold day and well for the price I believe it’s reasonably priced. There are probably better Japanese restaurants in Vancouver, but I wouldn’t say no to eating there again.
770 Bute Street
Vancouver BC V6E1A6
Ajisen Ramen is a popular Japanese franchise that offers an array of Japanese dishes. Of course, going by the name, its main attraction is the Ramen. Ajisen Ramen’s first Melbourne restaurant was on Bourke St, Melbourne. It has been there for many years, I think ever since I was in high school. I remember my friend ordering an Aussie Ramen, it was one of the strangest fusion dishes I’d ever seen. I believe it had fried egg, beetroot and other “typical” Australian ingredients like you’d find in a burger. I don’t think it’s on their menu anymore, probably an indication of its extreme popularity. Ajisen Ramen is a more recent entry to Glen Waverley, after the seemingly empty Korean restaurant before it closed down, and most weekends during lunchtime, even in the late arvo, you’ll find this place full.
I ordered the Tonkatsu Ramen, as seen in the opening image. What we have here is Deep-Fried Pork, egg and an assortment of vegetables. I quite liked it, you kinda to either eat the pork quickly or take it out of the bowl in order for the pork to retain its crunchiness that you would typically find in a Tonkatsu Rice dish. If you leave it in too long, it kinda gets too soggy but the flavour is still there so if you don’t mind it then it really isn’t a con.
The soup is mild, but definitely has some flavour. I quite like it and even though the bowl appears a tad small, it is filling.
This is the Spicy Ramen, with “Spicy Meat” which is not pictured. It’s servered separately on a plate. This is slightly different to the Tonkatsu Ramen as the soup base is spicy. It actually has quite a good hit, and it’s served with cabbage instead. Overall, it’s pleasant and the amount of heat is surprising for a Japanese restaurant.
If you order a Sumo Combo, ($5.50 extra) it comes with your pick of Junior Donburi and Green Tea. Well worth it if you’re particularly famished. Here we have the Junior Unadon, which is Grilled Eel with Sauce on Rice. I’m not a big fan of eel, but the sauce makes all the difference here. Nice balance of sweet and salty.
Here we have the Junior Teriyaki Salmon Don. I find the Junior serves if you don’t order the Sumo to be extremely poor value for money. It really is just a few mouthfuls, and for only a couple of dollars more you get a much larger serving. I also found the Teriyaki sauce here to be lacking, its mainly because the sauce is almost non existant! The Salmon was nicely cooked though, still pink inside so not overcooked. So overall the dish is a bit bland.
I ordered the Katsu Curry, with Deep Fried Bread Crumbed Pork with Japanese Curry on Rice. I love Japanese Curry, it’s so different to the Malaysian-style curries that most people have come to love but it for me, it holds its own.
I find Ajisen Servings to be slightly smaller than most other Japanese restaurants, even the Japanese Cafe in Chinatown is gigantic compared to here but nonetheless it’s still filling. I just find that it’s generally more expensive but smaller portions. What I love about Ajisen’s offering is that it’s actually spicy! Not just a hint of spice but a good punch. So different to the standard curries I’ve ordered around town as they are usually much sweeter.
The Pork goes really nicely with the curry, and although the curry can make the battered layer of pork soft, it isn’t too bad. Compared to the Tonkatsu Ramen, it goes soft slower so it’s not too bad. With this you get your standard diced carrot and potato. In this case, they pre-fry the potatoes giving it a slightly potato fry kind of flavour to it. It’s a subtle but nice way to bring another element to the dish.
Overall, you can see why Ajisen Ramen is extremely popular day in day out. I’d say service is surprisingly decent too, they have these little PDAs to take your orders and the food comes quickly enough. I’d probably bet they just want you out of there as quickly as possible but it works well. As I’ve cautioned before, if you’re used to the large servings in the many other Asian restaurants in Glen Waverley, don’t expect them here. It’s slightly smaller and more expensive. However the major plus is that the food is pretty darn good. So if see empty seats in this popular eatery, grab it and enjoy!
Glen Waverley VIC 3150
(03) 9560 9018