Everyone has their favourite winter comfort food. For my mum it’s Ma Po Tofu. For RM it’s shepherds pie. For my friend M it’s lasagne.

For me, it’s soup noodles. Laksa, won ton noodles, pho – nothing beats hugging a big steaming bowl of noodle goodness when it’s blowing a gale outside.

Momotaro is a low-key family establishment that bills itself as a Japanese Noodle Bar and they specialise in ramen (not sure what the errant ‘h’ is doing in their name, I’ve never seen it spelled like that). When I visited most of the other customers were Japanese so I think they have a expat following for their authentic dishes (plus there’s lots of Japanese mags for browsing). They also have curries, teriyaki and gyoza on offer but really go there for the noodles.

The mark of a good ramen stall is their tonkotsu – a white soup broth made from pork bones. At Momotaro for a mere $11 you are presented with a rustic bowl of tonkotsu soup with a large slice of charshu pork, your daily vegetable serving requirements in the form of bean sprouts and cabbage and a filling bundle of ramen.

As you can see, the bowl of soup was so huge it acted as a face sauna! Momotaro’s ramen will not only open up your pores, it is an extremely hearty and warming meal. I found myself progressively stripping off layers and layers of clothing as I slurped on the soup and noodles, feeling like I was making no headway at all. The Magic Pudding of Ramen!

The broth itself is unlike any other tonkotsu I’ve had – mainly because it was light and frothy. I guess that goes with the family-style nature of the restaurant – at home you’d probably not bother skimming your broth for hours on end just to make it clear. I don’t think the frothiness affected the flavour at all, with its rich porky aromas.

As for the noodles and the toppings, they were good but not particularly unique although I did appreciate that the noodles were homemade. It really was all about the soup.

Fancy it is not. Good value for great flavours it certainly is.

Momotaro Rahmen, 392 Bridge Rd, Richmond +61 3 9421 1661
Lunch – 11.30am – 2.30pm
Dinner – 6pm – 9.30pm
Closed – Mondays, Sundays & Public Holidays

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