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
Ramen Bankara has now three outlets with the two cities stores opening up in the last couple of months. However, it was the Doncaster outlet that was first in Australia, located inside the Westfield shopping centre and providing more options for those wanting Japanese cuisine with Hanaichi and Hakata Gensuke preceding it.
I love ramen and even when I was in Japan, I never tired of it. Ramen Bankara has a choice of three different soup bases with your choice of add ons such as eggs, chashu, bamboo shoots and seaweed. Each classic option has a premium version with more add ons.
Their Bankara Ramen has pork broth as its base and it’s absolutely delicious. It has an amazing rich pork flavour, and their pork belly is so tender. One downside, was the amount of fat floating in the broth. I’d love if they sieved a bit of it out but other than that, it’s the one to get.
Chuka Soba Ramen is another pork broth but this has the added option of getting it spicy. It’s a milder broth and a bit more tangy and cleaner for the palate.
Ramen Bankara’s Tonkotsu can also be ordered spicy, and it’s more creamy than the Chuka Soba. It’s made from pork bones that give it that creamy texture. I like the spicy kick more in the Tonkotsu.
There aren’t too many choices for good ramen around these parts of town so Ramen Bankara satisfies those cravings just nicely.
Ramen Bankara – Doncaster
Westfield Doncaster Shopping Centre
Ground Level, 619 Doncaster Road
Doncaster VIC 3108
Shizuku on Victoria St, is another Ramen place making its mark in Melbourne and spreading out from the CBD. While ramen is their specialty, it also prides itself on the craft beer offerings, with of course, a large range of Japanese beers, local and worldwide varieties. Ramen doesn’t come cheap though, with an average ramen costing $15 plus, however if you are able to dine there during lunch you are able to select one of their lunch specials.
Their Tonkotsu Miso Ramen comes with bamboo shoots, cha shu pork belly, Japanese style eggs with a very flavourful miso pork broth. I found it to be quite reminiscent of the many ramen shops in Japan in terms of flavour but more sparse in ingredients here.
Shizuku’s Fried Rice also is quite flavourful, and the spring onions add a nice freshness to it.
The gyoza filling is also tasty with the hint of ginger and pork flavour with crispy skin.
Shizuku’s Shoyu Ramen with cha shu, bamboo shoots and egg in a lovely clean tasting soy sauce broth again hits the mark. It’s quite a tasty meal and decent for their lunch special.
Value for money during lunch but questionable for dinner. Delicious Ramen dishes and would be fantastic with a cold one during warmer weather.
Shizuku Ramen & Craft Beer
309 Victoria Street
Abbotsford VIC 3067
The ramen at Hakata Gensuke on Russell St, Melbourne CBD is very reminiscent of what you’d find in a ramen restaurant in Japan. Signature & Black Tonkotsu are a few of their soup bases, but they also offer a red hot spicy soup to go with your ramen. What sets Hakata Gensuke apart from other Japanese noodle restaurants, is its add-ons. Pretty much all ingredients are add-on such as the Japanese style cooked eggs, Bean Shoots, Cha-Shu, Bamboo Shoots and Seaweed. You can also select the amount of noodles and even their softness if you like noodles with a bit more bite or etc, which is a first I’ve seen appear on their order menu.
If you want the lot, a meal can set you back $20 plus, though it is very appetising. It has all the ingredients you’d want in a ramen, but just for a bit extra.
You can see why Hakata Gensuke is so popular, commonly with queues at the front and it is justified. You don’t frequently find Tonkotsu on many menus, however value for money for me is still Momotaro Rahmen in Richmond.
168 Russell Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
Nishikian is situated in a previously operated petrol station and now it has been converted into a spacious Japanese restaurant. Located in Forest Hill on Springvale Rd, it’s serves authentic Japanese food for Lunch and Dinner. Their menu has a small selection of rice and noodle dishes, but their main attraction for dinner is their tapas menu including fish, sushi and tempura.
There’s a lot to like about Nishikian, their Shoyu Ramen which is a Soy Sauce soup base, is very clean tasting and yet packed of flavour. The Japanese style eggs is a rare occurrence, but here you receive the oozy yolk inside with the hard boiled white. It’s one of life’s greatest food treats, slightly running yolk and hard boiled and pretty much served at any ramen shop in Japan.
Nishikian’s Chicken Teriyaki Don isn’t how I usually find it, here it’s served crispy with a teriyaki marinade and Miso soup. Interesting choice, but I do prefer the grilled style Teriyaki.
If you’re undecided, during lunch hours you can select the Nishiki Lunch Box, where you can choose from a selection of menu items and served with rice. It’s a great way to try a bit of a few different things. Their Potato Croquette is quite tasty, moist inside and nice and crispy. The Takoyaki wasn’t slightly crispy outside as that’s how I like it, but I found a couple of places in Tokyo that served it slightly soft. The beef I found actually was on the dry side, it needed a lot more sauce, and less cooking time as the beef cuts were very thin.
The Beef Udon has a very subtle flavour but again, clean tasting and fresh. Two for two with their noodle dishes.
Nishikian’s Mochi Potato Croquette is similar to the normal Potato Croquette and it’s everything you’d want in a croquette. Delicious, smooth potato inside and a beautiful crunchy coating.
The Ebi Mayo Nigiri is another great dish, fresh and you can never have too much of Togarashi powder on the side.
Lastly, the Tonkotsu Ramen (Pork Bone Broth) is very reminiscent of my travels in Japan. It has the taste of being rich of cream but yet there is none in a Tonkotsu. Delicious.
While there are a couple of authentic Japanese places around these parts of town, Nishikian comes up top in terms of flavour and value. Their noodle dishes have all been winners in my book and I’d go straight back to those on my next visit.
425 Springvale Road
Forest Hill & Vermont VIC
T: 03 9877 4999