It seems that most people have taken the opportunity of a 3 day weekend to head out of town, leaving the ramen-hunting to the rest of us.
One of my favourite Japanese restaurants Wabi Sabi Salon is offering Tonkotsu Ramen Sundays, an interesting alternative to the Sunday roast. Until further notice every Sunday lunch time from 12 midday Wabi Sabi Salon will be open for one thing only – hot, steaming bowls of homemade ramen.
Ramen is perfect winter comfort food. Having one of those big bowls plonked in front of you is like having a steam facial and the more you eat, the hotter you get, until you’re shedding layers like a sunburnt Brit.
The menu has just three items on it – traditional Tonkotsu Charsyu noodle ie sliced pork and egg, a Tonkotsu Tan Tan spicy noodle with minced pork and a Vegetarian Tasty noodle. The tonkotsu pork stock is put on the stove 24 hours before and the noodles are made fresh on the day, with only enough to fill 150 bowls.
I felt in need of some chilli for the chill so decided on the Tonkotsu Tan Tan spicy noodle. The bowl was filled with a heady, murky broth of porky goodness with a small slick of sesame and chilli oil. However, I don’t know if my tastebuds had been numbed by the hot soup but I definitely didn’t think it was spicy. The noodles were excellent, springy and toothsome.
I was thrilled to enjoy such great ramen on my doorstep until I was told that it cost me $16 (cash only). That’s not my experience as the going rate for a bowl of ramen. And it’s almost double the price for a bowl of pho, another form of a filling noodle broth.
So while I would recommend Wabi Sabi Salon‘s Pop Up Tonkotsu Ramen if you live nearby (and so it gets a HOT), is it so amazing that I’d cross town for it and get not much change from a $20? Probably not.
Pop Up Tonkotsu Ramen, Wabi Sabi Salon, 94 Smith St, Collingwood +61 3 9417 6119