Here at The Urban List, we're obsessed with burgers. We like to think we've sampled most of the meat-packed patties on offer, and can wax lyrical about their various attributes – brioche versus regular bun, seeded or naked, beef, pork, fish or chicken, aioli or relish, cos lettuce or plain ol' crunchy iceberg.
As self-proclaimed aficionados (check out our roundup of Melbourne's best), we were beyond excited to learn about the new kid in town that has, until this point, escaped our eagle-eyed attention. Enter, the Ramen Burger.
Hailing from NYC, the food mash-up mothership and originator of the Cronut, the Ramen Burger is creating waves at recently opened SHIZUKU on Victoria Street (that's right, there's now a Japanese joint on the Vietnamese strip).
SHIZUKU chef Hiromi Hanzawa (formerly of Akasiro and Pabu) is the man (Saint?) responsible for bringing this culinary curiosity to Melbourne. Here's the deal – instead of a bun, you'll get tightly packed ramen noodles, encasing either rolled and marinated pork belly with homemade plum and prune sauce and Kewpie mayonnaise, or veg-friendly miso-glazed eggplant with sweet miso jam.
We have yet to sample the goods, but will bring a verdict to you soon!
If you're after a more traditional take on Japanese fare, SHIZUKU offers Izakaya-style plates and hearty, authentic dishes, plus a bunch of unique dishes, developed for the local palate (we LOVE the sound of the pork crackling with seaweed powder and pink Murray River sea salt).
But the specialty and must-try is the ramen, prepared in the traditional manner over 15 to 18 hours. Head chef, Ken Yoshida, has earned his stripes in some of Japan's most renowned ramen shops, so we reckon you're in for a treat. Choose from six types of ramen – most served with marinated char sui pork belly – shoyu ramen, miso ramen, spicy miso ramen, yasa miso ramen (with three types of miso), tan tan men (based on the Sichuan-style of spicy noodles), and shio sea salt ramen.