My last evening in Melbourne brought me to the famous ramen house, Hakata Gensuke.
Hakata Gensuke caught my eye on my first day in Melbourne as I was walking past an unusually long line along Russell Street. Even though this popular Japanese eatery requires an average wait of 60 minutes, the food is so good that it is worth the long interim.
Hakata Gensuke on Russell Street was the first of its kind, established in August 2014. Ramen Master Chef Kousuke Yoshimura brings Hakata tonkostu ramen, the most authentic Japanese ramen to Melbournian. Tonkotsu ramen is a ramen dish that originated in Fukuoka, Fukuoka Prefecture on the Kyushu island of Japan, and it is a specialty dish in Fukuoka and Kyushu. It was originally prepared as an affordable fast food for laborers at fish markets. Today, it is renowned for the significant time it can take to properly prepare the dish. The soup broth is based upon pork bones and other ingredients, which is typically boiled for several hours, and the dish is traditionally served with ramen noodles that are hard in the center and topped with sliced pork belly. In Fukuoka, Japan, tonkotsu ramen is referred to as Hakata ramen.
Hakatu Gensuke offers only four types of ramen. The Signature Tonkotsu with rich pork broth, the Black Tonkotsu with black garlic and black sesame, the God Fire with a blend of "spicy fire", and the Shio Tonkotsu a lighter pork broth. They also do extra toppings and sides like gyoza and chicken karaage.
When the restaurant gets busy, the staff hand you a pen with a piece of paper with an ordering form, so you can decide what you want while you wait in line. When you get inside, the waitress takes your ordering form and the food is out within 10 minutes.
Tonight I ate the Black Tonkotsu ramen.
I really, really enjoyed my ramen. I like bold, rich flavours, so I'm glad I opted for this one. The black garlic and black sesame added a nice depth to the broth. The sweet garlic and the nuttiness of the sesame truly elevated the meal, and the soft boiled egg was the perfect addition to what was already a sensation.
Mr. Cardigan ordered the Signature Ramen, which he says was also good. Personally I liked mine a lot better!
I left the restaurant really, really happy.
If you want the best ramen in town, look no further. Trust me guys, it's worth the wait!