Jurisdiction: Japanese (Ramen).
Outcome: Hung Jury.
Ratio decidendi: Effectively a halfway house between Gumshara and other ramen joints in the city. While it may appeal to those who find Gumshara too intense, the price point of $15.80 minimum for a bowl puts this closer to ‘no deal’ territory for me.
Salient features: (-)
Scope of discovery: Egg Ramen ($15.80)
Case note: Stumbled upon this place during the mid-week ‘soft’ opening and was amazed to see lines stretching down the street on the weekend given what I had sampled. The prospect of a free bowl of ramen cleared things up considerably but I would be curious to see how business is going a month on from then.
Being a halfway house between Gumshara’s intensely rich and thick soup base and other CBD ramen joints is risky business in my mind. Firstly, one can ask for a lighter soup base at Gumshara and secondly I find the taste to be a very love/hate proposition. By positioning itself in the middle, I wonder whether you end up pleasing nobody – the Gumshara loyalists will herald it as a pale imitation and the rest will still find the ‘broth-ier’ soup bases elsewhere to still be more to their liking.
The deal-breaker for me though is the price point. $15.80 is a big ask for a basic bowl of ramen. Soup base aside I found the noodles, egg and chashu to be decent, but not rave-worthy and therefore the overall bowl to be a bit overpriced. The thing I liked the most about this place though was the sign outside – “No Ramen | No life” – they definitely got one thing right!
Obiter dicta: It isn’t in the city, but Manpuku in Kingsford my go-to ramen joint if I’m south of the bridge.