Dubbed the ‘next’ food trend for what has seemed like forever, Asian cheap eats are finally getting the run they deserve in the Brisbane food bubble. With new joints popping everywhere offering up all the epic eats we can handle, you’d better watch your back, burgers.
A city fringe resident myself, the struggle is real when hunting for a decent ramen or heaven forbid, a steam bun (the horror!) that isn’t either a drive into town, or south of the river. Since when did noodles become so niche?
But, with the opening of Hai Hai Ramen in Paddington, this has given us locals just cause to slurp our body weight in ramen like the rest of town. Because, food addiction. Don’t judge.
Located on Latrobe Street in the heart of Paddington, Hai Hai Ramen is serving up hot bowls of freshly made ramen every night from 5pm out of an old café-come-workers cottage. With simple seating options and pared back décor, it really gives off a casual Japanese eatery vibe where the food does the talking.
And talk it does. Hai Hai’s small but mighty menu is just the ticket if you’re after well priced, deliciously simple dishes. With only three varieties of ramen—Pork Belly, Chicken, or Vegetarian—on the menu, you simply choose your meat, then choose your broth; Shio or Shoyu (light and salty, or soy-based and super rich). Nice and simple.
You’ll obviously be wanting refreshments. Native options include Japanese beers, Sake (of which they have six varieties) or Japanese Whisky; they definitely don’t mess around here.
While waiting for the main event, don’t pass up the opportunity to tuck in to some of Hai Hai’s side dishes; favourites like the karaage chicken is the perfect combo of fluffy, crunchy and juicy. No mean feat if you know your karaage from your cornel. Other satisfying sides include chashu pork steam buns, charred sweetcorn with miso butter and furikake—that hugely addictive savoury seasoning you will have tasted on your regs rice dish.
All in all, this little ramen spot should be your go-to for casual nights when you just can’t be f-ed to cook, and don’t want the fuss of a fancy restaurant. Sometimes the best things come in tiny, perfectly proportioned packages. Kampai!
Want all the details and opening hours? Check out Hai Hai Ramen in The Directory!
Image credit: Yaseera Moosa