Let’s be honest: there’s really no wrong way to consume ramen, as long as it’s hitting your tastebuds and you wish you had a spork, you’re doing something right.
This is an article for true ramen-tics, the noodle slurpers and the spring onion lovers—it’s everything and anything you need to know to become a ramen eating master, brought to you by No.18 Ramen. Can we get a ra-amen?!
#1 Broth: Why Broth-er
Broth is to ramen what a morning espresso is to you—essential for holding your life together. As good as instant ramen noodles are bathed in shameful morning light (ft. your worst hangover), we’d like to think we’re a little more refined nowadays. Nothing beats the homemade, thickly rich flavours of honest Japanese ramen.
No.18 Ramen’s choices reflect the quietly confident, new-age ramen that’s popping up around Melbourne. A take on traditional shoyu ramen (soy sauce) combines a chicken and pork bone soup with bonito and soy. On the flip side, chicken, pork and fish stock broth pairs perfectly with mussels (you can never have too many mussels) and wafts of garlic.
If you’re looking for ramen that marries the best two cuisines into one dish, the O Sole Mio is an Italian take on ramen. A tomato soup base (which doesn’t break the diet bank), is filled with egg noodles, salad mix, olive, basil, seaweed and cheese. Trust us—it works, and besides, everything is better with a little cheese right?
#2 Noodles: Love, Peace, Ramen
Nothing is quite as satisfyingly chewy, rich and addictive as a spoonful of silky ramen noodles. There’s little disagreement on the essentials for classic springy, anti-soggy ramen noodles (unlike every other aspect of ramen).
Tinged yellow thanks to kansui (an alkaline agent), No.18’s classic ramen noodles sit alongside health-conscious options. If you’re craving veggies your mama would be proud of (it happens to the best of us, foodies) and want your ramen without the calories, No.18 Ramen offer vegetable noodles (a mix of zucchini and carrot) as well as Japanese Konjac noodles (made from konjac yam).
#3 Toppings: Don Some Of These
Traditional toppings to supersize your ramen include nitamago (egg), menma (Japanese bamboo shoots) and spring onion, but we’ve de-duck-ed you should make a beeline for the duck slices at No. 18 Ramen. For a spicier ramen, let the waiter know you’d love it hot or DIY with chilli miso condiments on every table.
#4 The Final Touches
It’s a fact that ramen tastes better with a side of sake or beer. Luckily for you—a pint of tap beer is just $1.80 on the 18th of every month at No.18 Ramen (no, we’re not kidding).
Along with kick-ass modern ramen, the no-frills restaurant also serves izakaya gems. Expect okonomiyaki sticks, tuna sashimi and pan-fried gyoza.
Finally, remember to slurp loudly and proudly—it means that you’re enjoying your meal. Though we seriously doubt you’re going to need any encouragement.
Image credit: Griffin Simm for The Urban List
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