There are many things that Melbourne is great at - hidden restaurants and bars, one of the world's best coffee cultures and a multitude of cuisines to chose from, but (and you know there always is a but!), I lament the lack of really good Ramen joints where I can instantly transport to Japan in a single spoonful of broth and noodles. There are a few places in Melbourne where the Ramen is good but far from mind-blowing, even Sydney outwits us in the Ramen department but I can't travel to Sydney everytime I want a good bowl of Tonkotsu Ramen.
Kokoro Ramen opened end of last year and even with the mixed reviews, it was a convenient location for a quick dinner before drinks so off we went. Kokoro Ramen offers 4 varieties of soup bases and different meat choices to go along however I was a little disappointed that they didn't offer a straight-up Tonkotsu soup with all its pork bone collagen-y goodness.
The majority of the party went to the Tonkotsu Shio soup base with Pork Belly. The Tonkotsu Shio soup was nice at first but after getting into the noodles and soup, it got much too salty for me and I wasn't able to finish the bowl. The strip of juicy and tender pork belly was great but the portion was tiny in comparison to the amount of noodles.
This is where I encountered the wall of saltiness and wasn't able to climb over it.
Mr AL went for the Tonkotsu Miso soup base with Pork belly which he declared was better than our choice but still rated his meal 'okay' and complained about the minuscule slice of Pork belly.
Big T joined us shortly after so while we were downing jugs of Orion beer, he went for the fried chicken tokyo ramen which he liked and had no complaints.
One of the girls had this adorable cup of Plum wine and if I hadn't been designated driver, I would have indulged in this too.
Although Kokoro Ramen offers a large variety of ways to enjoy your ramen and allows you to customise your meal as you like, we all thought the broth was too salty and not enough meat for our liking.
So Melbourne fails again on the Ramen frontier. Are there any good Ramen places in Melbourne that I am unaware of? On another note - Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there, wishing mine a merry day :)
Will I return? No, the food was very average.
157 Lonsdale Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
(03) 9650 1215