If you are a foodie in Canberra, then you're in luck - there are a wide array of international eateries to try all across the city! So much so, that it can be hard to know where to go first. One place where all of these local flavours all come together is at The Forage foodie festival, held every season in Barton. The next winter event, at the time of writing, has promised hot and delicious bowls of ramen to warm people up from the inside. This enticing attraction got me thinking - where else in Canberra sells hot and tasty ramen?
For those who haven't tried ramen before, its main flavour comes from the broth which is made from a base of either pork bones, chicken, soy sauce or miso. Swimming at the bottom are wheat noodles and the surface is adorned with thinly-sliced meat, nori seaweed squares, chopped shallots, menma and a particularly delicious soft-boiled egg. Every region of Japan, as well as every ramen restaurant, have their own unique specialties. This makes every ramen eatery different to the last one you went to, so it is a glorious surprise each time you try a new one. Where is your favourite ramen eatery in Canberra? Please leave a comment at the top of the article and share your thoughts. Although I'm not an expert in ramen, these are the ones that keep me going back for more on these cold, winter days in the Capital...
Steaming hot bowls of ramen at Ramentic, Lonsdale Street in Braddon ($18 - $19 a bowl). Image: Original photos from Ramentic Facebook
This small eatery is reasonably new in Canberra, opening in June, 2017. Although the prices on the menu are a few dollars more than anywhere else, this doesn't stop the crowds from rolling in every lunch and dinner-time for their ramen fix. It is the only dedicated ramen joint in Canberra with four ramen choices on the menu - pork belly, vegetable, chicken and spicy. It doesn't matter which one you pick, each and every one is a stand-out.
When I first tried ramen, I was curious about the seafood-tasting, pink and white swirly shapes that were in every ramen soup. I have since found out it is a sliced fish cake called Naruto or Narutomaki, which was originally designed to represent famous whirlpools in southern Japan. In every bowl is also a soft boiled egg, which is marinated in soy sauce and so soft in the middle. Ramentic certainly have perfected their eggs and they are another highlight of their ramen soup. According to friends who have been to Japan, Ramentic create the most authentic ramen in Canberra. All I know, was that it was yum! See here for details.
The delicious, marinated soft-boiled egg in ramen. Image: Original photos from Ramentic Facebook
Although my ramen-loving friends prefer the Ramentic ramen above, I personally enjoy the overall restaurant experience from Soi Noodle Bar, back in the CBD. This Asian-fusion eatery is more of an experience to eat in, with a range of tables and bar seating, an impressive artwork overlooking the restaurant and a larger area to relax. This eatery is also a favourite as you can dine with friends or family and try other types of Asian-fusion delicacies for entrée and dessert, if you wish. I keep going back for the Chicken Broth Ramen, with a more-ish flavour that hits the spot on a cold winter's day in Canberra. You can't beat Soi Noodle Bar for flavour, location, price and variety of other cuisine options. See here for details.
Chicken broth ramen noodle soup with chicken, wakame, nori, chopped shallot, bamboo shoot, boiled egg and fish cake ($15)
Best Quick Takeaway- Genki Sushi (Tuggeranong, Woden and Fyshwick)
Traditional ramen-fans may not consider buying ramen from a food court, however I was interested to try a bowl after seeing people slurping ramen noodles out of Genki Sushi bowls, in South.Point Tuggeranong, the Canberra Outlet Centre and Woden Westfield. They have a wide range of ramen options for $13 - $14, with a photo menu to help you order. The best one, in my opinion, is the Teryaki Chicken Ramen with tender and melt-in-the mouth slices of chicken, covered in a beautiful teriyaki marinade and layered over a tasty broth. If you are looking for a casual ramen-hit in your lunchbreak, then this one is worth a try. See here for details.
If you would like more information on the different types of ramen, see this Japanese Ramen Guide for more details. For myself, any ramen is a hot, comforting soup that gets rid of the winter blues and feels like a warm and nourishing hug, from the inside. Why don't you try one this weekend?