Ramen, Japan's number-one comfort dish, has started making it big in Australia. Sydney is probably ground zero for the nation's ramen obsession (as this ramen tasting we undertook with Momofuku chef David Chang suggests), but that's not to say that the rest of the country is starved of umami-packed, pork-rich noodle soups. Here are our top picks from around Australia.
The good folk at Ramen Ya take great pride in their tonkotsu (the rich, almost sticky pork stock-based style of ramen). The chashu topping (just as ramen is descended from Chinese lamian noodles, chashu is Japan's take on China's char siu - in this case, soy-braised pork belly) alone is worthy of a visit. Shop 25g, Melbourne's GPO, 350 Bourke St, Melbourne, Vic, (03) 9654 5838
For one of Adelaide's better bowls hit this CBD favourite. Tokyo Ramen is known for its shoyu ramen (made with a classic soy-based broth) as well as tonkotsu, and it does a pretty mean chashu as well. 92 Gawler Pl, Adelaide, SA, (08) 7225 0448
This inner-city noodle house is the go-to for serious ramen enthusiasts in Perth. The secret to its allure? Our money's on the quality of the house-made noodles.
117 Murray St, Perth, WA, (07) 9325 2090
Dosukoi at the Fremantle Markets
Early morning tonkotsu craving? The Dosukoi noodle stall at the Fremantle Markets is home to one of the city's favourite bowls, and it opens at 9am. Problem solved. Stall 7, Fremantle Markets, cnr South Tce & Henderson St, Fremantle, WA, 0412 855 663
Taro's Ramen & Café
Taro Akimoto's ramen is the talk of ramen fiends the nation over, and with good reason. It's MSG-free, made from only the highest-quality local ingredients Akimoto can source, and is one of the most well-executed renditions in the land. Ground level, Boeing House, 363 Adelaide St, Brisbane, Qld (07) 3832 6358
Brisbane loves ramen. For another of the city's better examples, head to Hakataya Ramen. There are three Brisbane outlets, and they're best known for their tonkotsu. Shop 27b, Sunnybank Plaza, cnr Mains Rd & McCullough St, Sunnybank, Brisbane, Qld, (07) 3344 1313; Shop 13, Market Square, cnr Mains Rd & McCullough St, Sunnybank, Brisbane, Qld, (07) 3345 9911; Shop 2072, Westfield Garden City Shopping Centre, cnr Logan & Kessels rds, Upper Mt Gravatt, (07) 3349 8866