Sunday, 7 August 2016

Yasaka Ramen, Sydney CBD

Since opening its doors in late 2014, Yasaka Ramen has grown to become a strong player in the ramen scene in Sydney. Owner and head chef Takeshi Sekigawa, a former apprentice at Sydney's famed Gumshara has put his years of learning the trade to good use, serving up his own version of the tonkotsu (pork bone) broth in his establishment located on Liverpool Street in Sydney CBD. Yasaka Ramen prides themselves in serving authentic homemade Japanese ramen with their ramen noodles made fresh on site daily


Yasaka Ramen on Liverpool Street

Ramen noodles made fresh on site


Jono, Xavier and I arrived around midday and it was already quite full with patrons slurping up their piping hot bowls of ramen. Seating was available on both levels of the establishment - opt for front row seats to watch your food being prepared in the open kitchen at the counter seating downstairs (limited to around 10 spots) otherwise there are more seating on the upper level to cater for groups both big and small. Since we had Xavier with us, we were seated upstairs where there was more room though not quite enough to easily manoeuvre the stroller to our table; we had to leave the stroller parked at the bottom of the stairway. 


Counter seating downstairs where you can watch all the action in the kitchen as you dine

Dining area upstairs filled with hungry patrons enjoying their bowls of ramen


The decor was modern and simple with its signature orange and black theme propagated from the menu all the ways to its feature walls. One can't help but notice the venue was kept immaculately clean though perhaps a little too much as we discovered the floors and stairs were extremely slippery. Highchairs were available for little ones and the friendly staff even kindly provided Xavier with plastic utensils so he didn't feel left out :) 

The service was speedy; it did not take long for our order to arrive at the table. We started off with some Japanese Hot Green Tea to warm up from the cold weather and a side dish of Edamame lightly seasoned with salt. The edamame was excellent, cooked till tender but still firm to the bite.


Japanese Hot Green Tea ($2.50)

Edamame ($4)


I was keen to sample the Tori Paitan (rich chicken soup) however it was unavailable today so instead went for the Egg Ramen. The tonkotsu broth served at Yasaka Ramen comes in three flavours - shoyu, shio and miso. We chose the shoyu flavour for our ramen where the broth was seasoned with a specially blended soy sauce paste. The ramen noodles were served al dente topped with slices of chashu, chopped spring onions, sliced bamboo shoots and a soft boiled egg. The broth was thick, rich and flavoursome liken to the one served at Ippudo though not as gelatinous as that of Gumshara's. One slurp of the soup and you can taste all the delicious porkiness. Full-bodied and hearty, just perfect for the cold winter weather. Oh, and the gooey yolk - love!


Egg Ramen ($15.80)


As a Washoku Lovers member, I had the additional benefit of receiving a $1 discount for a noodle refill or topping of soft boiled egg (normally $2 respectively) though did not make use of my benefit this time round as the ramen serving size was generous and I needed to leave some room for the karaage that was still to come.

The Karaage Set 18-piece offers the best value for karaage lovers as you get to sample three of the five varieties available (the other karaage options only allow for one flavour of choice). We opted for the Salt & Lemon Sauce, Negi Ponzu Mayo (spring onion, ponzu sauce and mayonnaise) and Spicy Sauce for our karaage set. The serving was not as huge as I had thought - the boneless pieces were bite size and not actual chicken pieces. The karaage was tender and juicy on the inside with lovely crispy bits on the outside. Jono and I both found the Negi Ponzu Mayo version was by far the tastiest as the Salt & Lemon Sauce and Spicy Sauce versions were both rather mild in flavour.


Karaage Set 18-piece ($22.50)


As much as I would like to sample some dessert, I was busting at the seams after all the food. The iced Green Tea Latte we had ordered earlier totally hit the spot for a nice sweet finish. A milky matcha flavoured cold drink with just the right level of sweetness, topped with whipped cream.


Green Tea Latte ($5.50)


With an entire page of the menu dedicated to ramen, there's sure to be one that will entice your taste buds and satisfy your tummy. Plus, there are plenty of side dishes to nibble on while you wait for your delicious hot bowl of ramen to be served. As Yasaka Ramen's tagline goes - No Ramen, No Life!


The Yasaka Ramen tagline - No Ramen, No Life


Jono and I dined as guests at Yasaka Ramen with thanks to Kayla from SD Marketing Global Pty Ltd.


Yasaka Ramen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Yasaka Ramen has recently opened up a branch in Neutral Bay with an almost identical menu with a major difference in the cooking method - instead of preparing the broth in a Japanese pressure cooker like they do at their CBD store, the Neutral Bay branch makes their broth the old-fashioned way of just heating it in a pot giving the broth a thicker, sweeter flavour. Definitely calls for a trip across the bridge to try it out!



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