Fukuryu Ramen ft. Dessert
This place seems to be the new place to be right now in Melbourne, and what better time to launch a new ramen place than when the colder weather is kicking in.
Down a laneway of Chinatown and up a few stairs, you will find yourself in this bustling franchise out of Asia. I’d heard of long waiting times, but lucky for us, it seemed we just arrived before that peak period.
Besides the wall above, the outfit was pretty standard with your usual basic, faux-wooden tables. When you reach the place, you find yourself walking straight into the line where you order and a standard menu on the wall.
Yes – this means the moment you walk in, you must make your decision. The cashier was very helpful in clarifying the difference between tonkotsu ramen and Shoyu ramen, which resulted in my friend and I reversing our initial choices. More on that later.
The cashier was quite bright and he seemed to know what he was talking about yet his American acccent threw us off a bit. When he told us to have a great meal it seemed very rehearsed and cheesy, but it’s better than showing no interest at all! Along with this, the whole team tend to shout Japanese phrases such as “Welcome!” every now and again, as if to add to the show.
My friend ordered what I initially had in mind, which was their Signature Tonkotsu Ramen ($9.90, above).The broth is pork flavoured, thick and creamy. The hype surrounding this place often mentions this dish, but I can’t stomach large creamy meals without feeling a little off. I had a spoonful of the soup and it definitely had this distinctive, tangy pork flavour.
It was interesting but I don’t think I’d be able to have a whole bowl. Having never tasted authentic tonkotsu, I can’t comment on this aspect, but I’ve read many other reviews proclaiming its authenticity.
I ended up choosing the Shoyu Ramen ($9.90, above). The menu didn’t say much besides ‘Tokyo style’, but we were told that the broth was clearer and based on a chicken and fish flavour. This appealed to me immediately, and I was glad I changed my mind.
The soup was quite addictive and I downed it to the last drop. The noodles are apparently handmade, just slightly thicker than instant noodles. The downfall was the serving size and lack of toppings. You can see the bowls below become slimmer as you reach the bottom and I could probably have had another bowl…or two.
I think more commercialised, and perhaps not as authentic places, such as Ajisen Ramen have set my hopes of serving size too high. The ramen here is cheap at $9.90, but then you’ll only get two pieces of meat.
That being said, the soup was much nicer than the usual oily fare. I’m still yet to try other places such as Kokoro Ramen so would gladly appreciate if anyone would share their experiences of ramen in the comments below!
Note: Fukuryu Ramen have just informed me they’ll be releasing extended portion sizes and more toppings as of April 16th, so watch out!
Melbourne Supper Club
Considering we were still hungry, we couldn’t pass up dessert. Melbourne Supper Cub is perfect for a late night meal or sweets, but located on Spring St and up from The European, I have heard they can be a little snobby.
I thought we’d give it a go anyway, as despite this I remember good desserts. We enjoyed sinking into the sofas but struggled to use the small table. They have this dark yet elegant atmosphere (hence this bad photo), where you’ll find people on dates or older groups sitting over wine and chatting. That’s probably why their tables are so small, it’s more for a light shared meal over drinks.
My friends and I don’t really drink, so we ordered tea, coffee and three desserts, hence the crowded table. My friends who first took me here always raved about the lemon tart ($9), which was a winner on this occasion too. The hard, savoury base and cream on the side balances out the tanginess of the rich lemon tart.
The tiramisu ($11.50) was creamy as expected and nothing too amazing. We did wonder if the three chocolate sticks were placed there purposely to serve us three or if it was part of the staple decoration. The churros con chocolate ($12) were surprisingly addictive, coated lightly in sugar and served with a dark chocolate dip. I don’t enjoy dark chocolate a great deal but it seemed to go with the churros well along with sips of tea. I’ve also tried the sticky date pudding ($11.50) in previous visits and would gladly recommend that too.
Once you get past the atmosphere that tries to emulate the sophisticated nightlife of Europe, the sofas and intimate setting prove great for a laid-back catchup. It started getting busier later on so we did feel the need to leave but didn’t feel we were too pushed to leave in a rush.