The Ajisen Ramen at Leigh Street is part of a chain of restaurants founded in Japan that serves a variety of ramen dishes. Ramen is the Japanese name given to the Chinese noodles Lau-Mein which means boiled noodles, for which there are many variations in Japan. The shop gets its name from the Ajisen soup used in its ramen. Ajisen soup is noted for earning awards in Japan, China and Hong Kong for being healthy and delicious.
Their ramen dishes' portions are quite generous, with a ladle-like spoon to make it easier to eat the noodles. The Tonkatsu Ramen that we ordered came with a serving of the fried pork cutlet known as Tonkatsu, along with half a boiled egg and vegetables. The ramen noodles were soft but not too soggy and the broth complemented it nicely without being too salty. Although the coating of the Tonkatsu was crisp, we found the meat to be a bit too dry. We asked for the Tonkatsu to be served on a separate plate (instead of in the soup) because we like our Tonkatsu crispy.
If you want something spicy, their Spicy Ramen could be the dish for you. In additional to the spicy meat, the broth has a bit of chilli to give it a spicy zing. My mother found it to be more delicious than the Volcano Ramen she ate during a previous visit. As with the Tonkatsu Ramen, the ramen noodles were cooked just right.
Ajisen Ramen also serves a variety of rice dishes known as Donburi, its name coming from the Japanese word for bowl. The Toridon I ordered had tender chicken whose flavour was set off by a Yakitori sauce with a distinct sweet flavour that is different from similar dishes I have eaten. It comes with a small serving of pickled vegetables whose sour taste contrasted wonderfully with the chicken.
Out of the Karaage Chicken I have eaten in Adelaide, the one served in Ajisen Ramen is what I consider to be closest to the Karaage I enjoyed in Hokkaido, Japan. Karaage is a Japanese dish in which ingredients are marinated in soy sauce, garlic and ginger before being coated in potato starch and deep fried. It had the gingery taste I consider to be a key part of enjoying the dish and the serving size was very generous for an entree dish.
One of the unusual offering at Ajisen Ramen is the Beef Enoki Roll, consisting of fried enoki mushrooms wrapped with beef slices coated in a Yakiniku sauce. Yakiniku is a term given to grilled meat dishes in Japanese. The beef slices were cooked to the right doneness, with the fried enoki mushrooms adding an extra element of texture.
The ambience of the restaurant was good with a decent amount of seating place. Ajisen Ramen also has a second branch located in the Regent Arcade in Rundle Mall. We had no problem getting seats when we went there for dinner on a Tuesday night. The same can't be said for lunch hour on a working day. According to my mother and sister, the place is packed during lunch hours on weekdays.