Sydney-based travel, film and music writer, www.jasminecrittenden.net
Published May 13th 2013
High quality Japanese food at student prices
Ramen Kan offers a simple, rustic atmosphere and quality food at cheap prices.
There's no lack of inexpensive food options in the vicinity of Chinatown. But an awful lot of it makes you wish you'd stayed home and taken the effort to cook for yourself. Grease, salt and empty carbohydrates are, too often, the refuge of cheap restaurants.
Ramen Kan is a different story. Hiding opposite the Sydney Entertainment Centre between Oporto and Cold Rock Ice Creamery, this Japanese gem is evidence that value for money is still possible in one of the world's priciest cities.
Found on the first floor and accessed via lift, Ramen-Kan offers a low-key, rustic feel, with an interior featuring bamboo and rope decorations. Diners can opt for a central table, or take a stool at the surrounding bench, which affords views of the street below.
Anyone seeking a serious feed would find it difficult to knock back the $14.90 ramen boxes. The catch is, they're only available after 5pm.
Other main meal-type possibilities include udon (from $10.90); stonepot cha-han (from $11.00); and chirashi sushi (from $10.90). For the more peckish, the ramen and sushi can be purchased in half-serves.
Individuals with a variety-seeking palate or parties keen to share will be surprised by the $3.00 menu, which includes vegetable gyoza tender enough to have been cooked up in a much ritzier establishment; wasabi tofu; garlic miso tofu; and edamame beans – standard or spicy.
House wines are available for $3.90 and cocktails for $7. The brief list includes such specialities as 'Kahlua green tea' and 'Samurai' (blue liqueur, soda and sake).
Ramen-Kam is open 7 days a week, between 11.30am and 10pm.