It’s that time of year in Brisbane when the weather turns a bit chilly and has us thinking of ramen because, well, it’s delicious and the perfect seasonal pick-me-up. With so many unique varieties and combinations of broth, tare (seasoning), noodles and toppings, there’s a taste and flavour to satisfy every palate as well. And while a trip to Japan to slurp on a bowl of ramen would certainly be memorable, Brisbane has quite a few ramen restaurants serving up their own tasty variations of the iconic Japanese dish.
Try them all to find your favourite because we can’t quite decide which is best, which is actually another way of saying let’s go eat some more.
1. Hai Hai, Paddington
Paddington locals have for a long time coveted Hai Hai. It might be for the special ramens they release or for the fact that on Mondays and Tuesdays they do a $10 ramen hour (between 5-6pm), which is a great price for ramen in Brisbane. Then again, it’s probably because Hai Hai simply makes an authentic steaming bowl of ramen that tastes good. That’s probably why and we do not disagree.
Hai Hai also does vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options. And, you can order online via their website.
Find Hai Hai at 102 Latrobe Terrace, Paddington
2. Genkotsu Ramen, Toowong and Runcorn
Variety is the spice of life and if you’ve been to Genkotsu Ramen then you know exactly what we’re talking about.
At Genkotsu, the menu offers diners twelve broths to choose from—originals, specials and some in-between—that have been brewed for half a day while their eggs have been marinating overnight. Then, add all the toppings you like and go to town slurping your ramen away.
If you’re a bit tight for cash, get broth and noodles for just $5.
3. Motto Motto, Multiple Locations
We’re big fans of Motto Motto. And by the looks of it, so are plenty of others around town. They’ve taken Japanese fine-dining and made it casual and yet still so classy. They’ve called their ramen broth a ramen super broth, and it is super—they’re famous for it. It’s been designed by Executive Chef Ryuji Tomihara with his quarter of a century experience put into the creation alongside premium Australian pork.
Find Motto Motto at Chermside, Indooroopily, Carindale, Garden City.
4. Men Ya Go, CBD
Continuing with the idea that the more the merrier Men Ya Go’s ramen menu is stacked. The classics are there like the Shoyu Tonkotsu with thick and creamy pork broth but then they’ve also got a handful of other variations that are perfect for the more curious of us. Or, you could make your own if you don’t feel like choosing from one of the twelve already on the menu.
If you need extra noodles, don’t be afraid to ask and if you’re a student, head to Men Ya Go after 2pm for 10% off your ramen bowl.
Find Men Ya Go at Shop 4 123 Albert Street and Central Plaza 1, Shop 2/345 Queen Street.
5. Hakataya Ramen, Multiple Locations
You don’t need to go to a restaurant to get some of the best ramens in Brisbane. Nope. All you need to do is head to a food court in one of many shopping centres around town because Hakataya Ramen makes some of the slurpiest broth anywhere. Their pork bone broth is simmered for 48 hours (48 hours!) and, as they say, carefully skimming out the scum to extract the flavour that has made them so popular.
If you see a line, hop in it. It moves quickly.
Find Hakataya Ramen at Chermside, Myer Centre Shop, Queen Street Mall, Sunnybank Plaza and Market Square, Garden City Shopping Centre, Indooroopilly Shopping Centre and Warrigal Square Shopping Centre.
6. Ramen Danbo, Three Locations
The first Ramen Danbo opened in 2000 overseas in the town of Chikushino on the southern island of Japan. Since then it has grown and spread across Japan and then around the world including to Brisbane, obviously. Actually, nowhere else in Australia is lucky enough to have a Ramen Danbo store.
Their broth is made onsite using high-quality pork bones and treated water because that’s how serious they take making ramen. Other than that, it’s a no frills approach to their ramen that win you over and no matter which ramen you choose—classic, miso, shoyu plus a few more as well as vegan and vegetarian options—you will be delighted.
Find Ramen Danbo at A4 G1, 52 Merivale Street South Brisbane; Shop 4/22 Gowan Road Sunnybank Hills; and Shop 3, 38 Wharf Street, Ground Floor, Student One Wharf Street, Brisbane City
7. Taro’s Ramen, Multiple Locations
Is Taro’s Ramen the best in Brisbane? Many would say, yes. Is it the best in Australia? There’s a devout following that would stake a pretty penny on it, or at least that’s the vibe you get when enthusiasts speak of its superior broth.
At Taro’s Ramen, the Tonkotsu broth is made rich and creamy by using Bangalow Sweetpork picked up from the local butcher and stacked with flavour by adding black garlic oil and squid ink as well as char siu, nori and shallots. As per usual, you also get a boiled egg.
There are plenty of vegan options on the menu as well, so everyone can get in on the broth. And Taro’s Ramen also does DIY home packs meant for two. Winning.
If you’re heading in, double-check opening times.
Find Taro’s Ramen in the CBD at Level 2, 480 Queen Street; in South Brisbane at 154 Melbourne Street; in Ascot at 145 Racecourse Road; in Stone’s Corner at 16 Old Cleveland Road.
8. Beppin Ramen and Cake, Brisbane
Oh Beppin, how we do love you. How can we not when you serve up both beautiful and tasty ramen and cakes?
From the black garlic ramen and the hot chilli tonkutsus to the tofu and the deluxe, as well as the chicken chashus and pork belly, we could go on and on. We won’t though because just the thought is making us want to slurp. Oh, and those not keen on slurping are able to go san soup and choose from the salad ramens. They won’t warm you up, but they will satiate taste buds.
Find Beppin Ramen and Cake at 62 Charlotte Street, Brisbane