Things have felt pretty crazy lately… I guess that’s adult life for you! While my weeknights tend to usually be social, catching up with friends or chowing down at different food events – but lately, it’s been work, work, work (yes please start singing Rihanna as you read this). So when the weekends roll round, I feel the overwhelming need to chill out, or seek out some comfort food. And with the wet weather outside, ramen is just the thing to dine on.
Normally Nao in the city is my go to venue. But I’m always curious to try new offerings out, and after hearing a place called Oishii Ramen has opened in Melville, I decided to head down on the weekend. It’s tucked away behind the car dealers, with my go to Korean meat butcher and a whole range of other Asian eateries.
“Oishii” means delicious in Japanese, so I could only expect greatness, right?
Arriving at 11.30am, I was surprised that there was already a line formed out the front. It’s quite a small space, and we put our name down for the waitlist then trotted off to the nearby shops to stock up on ingredients to take home. After half an hour, finally we were called up.
Once you’re inside you order and pay before they show you to your seat. It’s an efficient system, which we weren’t aware of but luckily had been creeping on the menu outside while waiting. We were led to some high stools looking into the kitchen, with tungsten lighting and the strong aroma of sesame oil permeating the air. My stomach was growling with anticipation!
After 15 minutes or so, our dishes came out. My dining companion ordered the spicy dan dan ramen ($12.90) – chashu (braised pork belly), sesame seeds, dried chilli, egg, Japanese bamboo shoots, beansprouts, spring onion, black fungus, seaweed and fish cake. It definitely looked hot with it’s strong orange colour and dried chilli floating throughout.
We agreed that while the ramen noodles were cooked well, her broth was way too salty and needed some desperate relief. I was also hoping for a slightly spicier rendition since this dish originates from Chinese sichuan cuisine, which can often be too fiery for me to handle!
I selected my standard ramen choice, which is also the classic rendition. The Tonkotsu ramen ($12.90) came with chashu, egg, Japanese bamboo shoots, beansprouts, spring onion, black fungus, seaweed and fish cake. Made with a heavily porky broth, it was wonderfully simple and tasty.
The chashu melted in my mouth, and had a good fat to meat ratio, cut really thin. Sadly my egg was a little overcooked – I’m all about that slightly runny and glossy yolk! The bamboo had a sharp pickle flavour, which contrasted well against the fatty soup.
As far as ramen offerings go, I thought this was really enjoyable and well worth checking out. I only wish my companion’s broth was as good as mine. But for my own experience – yum! A soul warming bowl of goodness that definitely soaked down into my bones to make me forget all about the cold weather outside.