Better Bites in Bondi Junction
here is a concentration of Japanese ramen shops and restaurants in Bondi Junction so I would leg it up there occasionally to get my ramen fix.
For those that don’t know, ramen is a Japanese noodle soup typically made with Chinese wheat noodles and cha-shu pork, seaweed, kamaboko fish cake and green onion, although my favourite version includes spicy Korean kimchi as well. A true fusion dish if ever there was one.
In Japan, each region has its own style of making the stock. In Kyushu for example they uses pork bone broth (tonkotsu) whereas in Hokkaido they add miso bean paste. I like a combination of both.
The noodle soup should be accompanied by a rack of gyoza; pan-fried pork mince dumplings, and ideally a chilled bottle of Sapporo Black Label.
I tried Cha-Shu Tonkotsu Ramen in three places. The best for me was Ichi Ban Boshi (A) at 171-173 Oxford Street www.ichibanboshi.com.au
The stock had a great flavor and the noodles were perfect (A) and I really enjoyed their gyoza (A). Both are pictured above.
Another good place is Mappen (B+) at 183-193 Oxford Street (entrance on Spring Street) www.mappen.com.au which has a canteen vibe.
I also went to Ramen Kan (B) at 3/33 Bronte Road where I got a good bowl of ramen (B+) but the gyoza were frozen in the middle! Not good (D) but it wouldn’t stop me going again.
Bondi Junction also has an excellent and very authentic Italian restaurant called Osteria Riva (B+) at 114 Bronte Road www.osteriariva.com.au which might be linked to La Piadina, my favourite place in Bondi (see previous post).
I had my favourite Italian cured ham, San Daniele (A) and some decent mozzarella to start (B).
I don’t recall the pasta special but it was very good, as was the Scallopine di Vitello (B+) and Crema Catalana (B) to finish.
Such authenticity doesn’t come cheap (with wine it must have been about $80 or so) but it was so good I couldn’t stop! Much better than the Italian places down by the beach.