Chill out, Beatles fans. This is Yoku Ono, not Yoko Ono. It’s easy to tell them apart: one is an artist and peace activist, the other is Melbourne’s tastiest ramen and sake bar. ‘Yoku’ means ‘skilful’ in Japanese, which is pretty apt (you’ll understand once you slurp this stuff).
Yoku is a collaboration between a few Melbourne restaurateurs and ramen master Tomoya Kawasaki (the guys behind Wabi Sabi Salon and Neko Neko). It’s small, cosy and traditional, lots of cinderblock bricks, warm timbers and artful hanging plants. The kind of place you duck into on a blustery Melbourne day with a good book and an appetite. The menu is a bit like the space: small, thoughtful and hearty.
The hero, of course, is the ramen: a silky smooth 8-hour, slow-cooked chicken broth. You can get it with chicken breast, pork belly or spicy pork mince (highly recommend), or there are lunchtime bento boxes for the hungry High St worker bees. The bento is delicious, but don’t be lead astray: coming to Yoku without slurping a big bowl of Spicy Miso Ramen and sweating into a napkin is just plain wrong. Wash it all down with a steaming cup of matcha tea, or go big with a hot Gozenshu sake. Proper rocket fuel.
Image credit: Michael Blau