I guess deep down inside, I’m a true blue Asian, for every once in a while, I do crave for a good bowl of noodles. I love all sorts of noodles, be it ramen, soba, wantan mee or even spaghetti! That fateful night was supposed to be a night of ramen, so a few of us went to Ichi-ban Boshi to queue for a table. And boy was the queue long! Even though we were there relatively early at 6pm, we must have waited for more than an hour for a table. Standing and waiting with empty stomachs was definitely not fun. Perhaps that was why my expectation went just a bit higher since I waited that long.
Ichi-ban Boshi is apparently the go-to place for ramen in Sydney. I was at first mistaken by the name, thinking that it was the same chain as Ichiban Boshi in KL, but it was clearly just a coincidence that they are both sharing the same names. The establishment here focuses mainly on ramen only with some selections of rice (don) and several side dishes. One of us ordered the Green Tea Latte which looked quite fancy but to me was a tad bland. The green tea lacked flavor and the milk seemed diluted.
Green Tea Latte
To start, we shared the Deep-Fried Chicken, which came with an exceptionally strong and pleasing aroma. It was perhaps more pleasing since it was the first dish to arrive and we’re all famished. The chicken was well-marinated, deep fried to perfection and was deliciously juicy within. I definitely wouldn’t mind a second helping of this.
Deep-fried Chicken (AUD$8.50)
Another common entree in Japanese restaurants is the Gyoza, or pan-fried dumplings. I have had my fair share of gyoza back in Malaysia, so I thought it to be rather weird that the gyoza here was served wet. I’d prefer them to be crispy and dry, so I wasn’t quite used to the presentation here. Taste-wise, it was quite one-dimensional and not impressive.
Last but not least, the main reason that we were there – ramen! I was looking forward to order the Tonkotsu ramen but was told that they ran out of it. It was common to run out of Tonkotsu since they only make a limited number of bowls daily. Therefore, I settled for the Very Hot Ramen, being in the mood for something spicy (always). The size of the serving was pretty huge, perhaps enough for 2 small eaters. The soup was spicy, but that was it. It was not exciting and in some ways, boring. It was just spicy. I suppose the Tantanmen that my cousin was having would taste better. The saviour of the dish was the ramen, for they were springy and chewy, just like how I’d like ramen to be. The piece of pork belly (Char shu) was tasty too, although I couldn’t judge much based on just one piece of it in the bowl.
Very Hot Ramen (AUD$11.90)
To be fair, I don’t think I can judge a restaurant just by trying one type of ramen alone. I would probably return to try my luck with the tonkotsu ramen some day. But based on the visit on that evening alone, it was definitely not worth my one-hour plus wait in the queue. Oh, did I mention that I felt thirsty the whole night after? Must have been the MSG in the soup.
Long queue at Ichi-ban Boshi
Level 2, The Galeries,
500 George Street,
Sydney NSW 2000,
Tel. No.: +61 (02)9262 7677
Opening Hours: Daily (11am – 9 pm)