Thursday, 7 August 2008

ichiban boshi, galleries victoria and bondi

As published in 3D World Magazine

Ichiban Boshi
The Galleries Victoria
Level 2, 500 George St
Sydney NSW 2000
Phone (02) 9262 7677


360 Oxford St
Bondi Junction NSW 2022
Phone (02) 9369 3980

People are passionate about Ramen. It’s one of those foods that many people have a strong opinion about. They’ll almost fight to the death to defend their favourite noodle vendor as being the best.

And really, what’s not to like about this little bowl of love?
A good Ramen should comprise of perfectly al dente wheat-flour noodles and a tasty broth. From there, you can find variations including sliced pork, pickles, miso, hanjukú tamágo (aka those perfectly soft-boiled eggs only the Japanese can seem to master) and beyond.

Ichiban Boshi has been around for around a decade in Sydney sets a standard that Aussies can be proud of to show off to those Harajuku kids.

The interior of both shops is simple to say the least – but we’re not here to admire furniture. The menu is simple – Japanese fast food basics, such as Katsu curries, Gyoza and of course a comprehensive list of Ramen.

Start with the easy bit. Order the Gyoza. In no time at all, delicious pan-fried dumplings with a soy-vinegar dipping sauce; the perfect snack to prelude your noodles, will be place in front of you.

When it comes to choosing your ramen, popular choices include Tokyo ramen, which is a great basic for newbies – it comes with all the regular trimmings including the ever-curious cartoon looking slice of ‘seafood stick’.

Tonkatsu Ramen – Pork-filled ramen in a rich broth is said to be imbued with the benefits of collagen (only limited numbers of this dish are served a day) …Sounds gross but it’s actually delicious. Just don’t wash your face in it.

If you’re into something spicier, the Tantanmen contains spicy minced pork and a miso broth that will surely tell the winter chills to take a hike.

But if you’re afraid of burning your mouth on all that delicious broth, Tsukemen (cold noodles with the broth on the side for dipping) is the perfect solution.

Another cold noodle dish – sadly only available in summer– Hiyashi Chuka is composed of cold noodles topped with meticulously arranged ham, cucumber, egg and tomato. It mightn’t be the weather for it right now, but it is definitely delicious.

So if you’re in the mood for Japanese fast-food fare (way more sophisticated than a burger and chips down at your local milk bar), with all the authenticity without the airline ticket, Ichiban Boshi might just be the trip you’re looking for.