We're definitely hopeless ramen-tics. We've slurped up the good stuff all around Melbourne, but Shop Ramen is a staple for many in the Collingwood area. Adorned with a glowing neon sign reading ‘ramen, buns + pie’ out the front: it’s hard to miss this place.
Not only are they serving fresh hand-pulled noodles (more on that later), the team at their Collingwood store are also dishing up buns (or bao) with chunky fillings like pork belly with garlic chips, brisket and kimchi or smoked tofu. If you’re into something a bit lighter, try out the broccoli rice with mizuna (Japanese mustard greens), edamame, kale and a soft egg with sambal sauce. Or just go for their namesake: ramen.
Now, don’t expect the menu to go forever. And that's what makes this place special: you can only pick between four types of the soupy stuff. Try out their staple, the pork belly ramen with shoyu, nori, a marinated egg, mushrooms and Chinese broccoli, or their Tan Tan Men with roasted beef brisket (which is melt in your mouth), grilled bean shoots, peanuts and spicy oil. Slurping up stock has usually been a big no for those who are omnivores, but fear not – they even have a tofu ramen with organic white miso, fresh tofu, sesame, and kale.
Wash it all down with a traditional sake, Japanese beer or plum wine (which are also on display on the walls). If you’re feeling a bit ~ fancy ~ try out their yuzu sipper or lychee spritzer cocktail. Can Friday come any sooner?
They're even opening up a store in Preston later on the year. Shop Ramen, you make miso happy!
Image credit: Never Now