Where to find Perth’s best ramen dishes?
With the weather starting to cool down, our bodies are crying out for comfort food. And what’s more comforting than steaming bowls of ramen? (Hint: the answer is nothing!) It’s Japan’s signature noodle dish for good reason, and these days it seems like we’re finally spoiled for choice – and good choices at that. Gone are the days when you have to roll the dice to get your hands on a umami bomb bowls of tastiness, now there are quite a few places to choose from.
Whether you opt for a traditional style, or a new age version laden with gooey centred eggs, black garlic or the controversial addition of corn, we’ve got you covered. Make sure your way through the list, or just stay with a favourite. Either way, it’s time to get your ramen on!
Nao Japanese Restaurant
When it comes to ramen in Perth, most diehard fans will be very familiar with Nao Japanese Restaurant’s wares.
Previously residing on Murray Street for many years, it has now relocated to Hay Street in Equus Arcade. The makeover has created a new slick look for a venue that has consistently delivered some of the best (and most reasonably priced) ramen in town since opening in 2003. The soup has a strong reputation for packing a real punch, with pools of oil surfacing at the top to demonstrate the layers of depth and flavour. Noodles are made on site daily, and come in four different varieties of white (egg noodle), green (spinach infused), red (chilli infused) or black (squid ink infused). Plus there are also another four types of ramen bases to choose from: miso, spicy miso, shio and shoyu, allowing you to create a bespoke dish completely aligned to your tastebuds. While buttered corn might not be up everyone’s alley, I highly recommend it as being an absolute standout. The lines can get pretty damn long here, but the new digs have way more seating room than the previous so things tend to move quickly.
Ippudo might have only opened their doors in Perth recently, but they bring a deep seeded history that dates all the way back to 1985 in Japan.
Now a popular chain established by Ramen King Shigemi Kawahara, Ippudo continues to branch out into new locations – a list which now includes a corner spot in Kings Square near Perth Bus Station. There’s lots to like about this place – from the friendly staff bustling about, to the wide range of dishes on offer. But it is definitely the ramen that you need to try when visiting. The original creamy tonkotsu broth (shiromaru motoaji) is a powerhouse of flavour, but our pick is definitely the akamaru shinaji which is the original broth enhanced with specially blended miso paste and garlic oil. If you’re a chilli fiend, then look no further than their spicy ramen which will bring a pleasing sheen to your forehead while you eat. The braised chashu pork belly, which is a signature ingredient in any great ramen, is delicious, fatty and flavoursome. You’ll leave with a giant smile on your face after visiting here.
Tucked away in the historic Fremantle Markets, Dosukoi is the OG of ramen in terms of its approach.
Yes, it gets damn busy. And yes, sometimes at peak hour you need to kill some time browsing market stands until you can sit down and eat. But you soon realise that it’s worth every second that passes once you get a taste of what the chef is doing here. There’s barely any room to house diners, but everyone knows the drill – order, eat and leave. This is not a lazy approach to dining, but rather a slurp fest of tonkotsu, shoyu and miso ramen. The dishes here have a real homely feel to them, and as you sip amongst the regular diners you can’t help but feel like you’re in a friend’s house eating a delicious meal they’ve cooked for you. Best of all, these guys open with the market meaning on weekends you can get your hands on ramen for breakfast instead of your regular bacon and eggs, which I fully support.
You might have walked past Oceans Kitashiya Ramen and Donburi Bar a thousand times in Northbridge and not paid attention to its humble appearance.
But those in the know appreciate this blink and you’ll miss it restaurant for it’s authenticity, reliability and affordability. As with most ramen joints, it offers soy, miso and salt broths to choose from – but they also make their own noodles which demonstrates their commitment to the art of ramen. Situated on Roe Street in Northbridge, the team pump out bowls of ramen from only $12.00 – and there’s a good variety to choose from. If you’re an office worker in the city, you can also delight in ordering these guys via UberEATS for convenient delivery – perfect for those rainy days where the idea of leaving your building is just too overwhelming.
The Melbourne Hotel has had a beautiful makeover, and with the new face comes some new names – including Keisuke Ramen.
A well-known chain throughout Asia, Japanese born Keisuke Takeda’s venue is cosy and already has hipsters and ramen lovers alike lining up outside patiently waiting for their own bowl of deliciousness. There’s no takeaway option, so you do need to commit to lining up, but once you’re inside you also get free serves of boiled eggs and flavoured bean shoots to accompany your ramen. And the chef is very much in the court of encouraging slurping to show your appreciation of the flavour – so get guzzling!
Melbourne-goers may have already been very familiar with Hakata Gensuke before it opened its doors in East Victoria Park.
Specialising in tonkotsu soup (pork bone based broth), the chef here has crafted a menu which honours the base stock they use in every ramen dish. This saw avid diners lining up well into the late hours of the night when the venue first opened on the West Coast, and fans continuing to return over and over again. The noodles are slightly chewier and flatter than typical ramen noodles, and patrons have the option to choose firmness – or order extra if you fancy. The black tonkotsu needs a definite shout out, with it’s fried garlic and black sesame paste turning the broth a deep inky colour that is just bursting with flavour. It’s very similar to the newer style ramen you’ll find in Tokyo, but still retains a high level of authenticity and integrity.
Eat Me Ramen
It’s a tiny hole in the wall ramen restaurant on Barrack Street, but Eat Me Ramen talks a serious game.
Proudly claiming to deviate from an authentic approach, the team here focus instead on flavour and standing out amongst the crowd. They have built a reputation on their modern style ramen dishes, the likes of which include ‘midnight sun’ (house blended soy sauce with chicken broth, accompanied by the usual suspects as well as smoked roasted tomato and burnt garlic oil), ‘umami bomb’ (miso and chicken broth with umami butter) and ‘fire in the bowl’ (sesame paste and aged black vinegar with chicken broth, plus spicy bomb and chilli oil). Plus they also have a dry ramen version on offer that features an unctuous 63 degree egg. Ramen bowls here will set you back $15.00, making it a cheap and cheerful meal to try next time you’re city-bound.
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