Yo Stop.. Ramen time! Yes folks - as part of our growing CBD lunch escapades, I have developed a dangerous new addiction. Menya Noodle Bar in the heart of the city completes the CBD ramen trinity for me and is a fantastic place to kill some ramen cravings.
Crowds seated around the open kitchen
Most of the time we make the mistake of getting there during what I often refer to as lunch break peak hour. This place is heaving with hungry peeps patiently waiting for their ramen fix, so best try and hold off till a bit later after 1pm. Lucky for everyone involved, the service is super speedy and our big bowls of noodle goodness arrives in a flash.
Tori kara-age ramen with Natural Salt soup ($11.90)
Now really, do you think I would order anything else? With a big bowl of the most flavoursome soup and a more than generous serving of crispy succulent chicken, you just can't say no. The broth is a natural salt based soup made from a combination of rock salt, chicken and fish broth - beware of the dehydration that ensues after consumption, make sure you have a bottle of ice tea handy. These soups are pretty good for getting rid of those lunch time hunger pangs. Big servings of noodles, flavoursome soup and copious amounts of toppings will be sure to fill up the hungriest of those ramen raiders and CBD lunchers alike.
Menya Box - Terriyaki Chicken $10.90
Our lunches have become quite the family affair with my mom, Mrs Fridgemagnet walked over from her office to join the lunch date. Her no fail pick is the Menya Box which is pretty good value for $10.50. A big portion of tasty Terriyaki Chicken, Miso Soup, Green Salad and unlimited rice refills. The Menya box is available with Chicken Kara-age, Chilli Beef, Teriyaki Fish and also Salmon Sashimi for $2 extra.
And of course, where there is food - my brother of Pho-An food trip fame also appears during his uni break! His favourite is the Cha-shu lover's ramen with miso soup. This broth consists of the same special chicken and seafood stock but infused with miso paste. It is a very strong flavour that goes so well with the slices of roast pork this dish is served with. This bowl comes in at $12.50
Demos' ramen du jour is the Chilli beef ramen at $11.50. This bowl is packed with a spicy flavour hit and generously topped with tender strips of beef, spring onions and chilli. The shoyu based soup is made by combining soy sauce with seafood and chicken stock and is really well balanced. The clear void is devoid of any 'funkyness' and just tastes amazing with that kick given by the fresh chilli. It's a very hearty soup given that there is a decent amount of beef to eat as well as noodles and of course the soupy goodness. Add a bit of rooster sauce to give things a bit of napalm flair and you have a winner.
Big Bowls of Goodness.
Menya Noodle Bar is definitely my pick out of the CBD ramen bunch. The broths have an authentic flavour, they don't skimp on toppings and most of all the prices are fairly reasonable. And did I mention it was licensed?? So you can order a cold beer to after the salty ramen near causes dehydration! It's a place I keep going back to, particularly for that big beautiful bowl of Kara-age Ramen. They also serve a Tonkotsu broth which is a rich traditional soup which we are yet to try, so there's another excuse to return this week!Menya Noodle Bar - www.menya.com.au