We’re at that time of year again.
Autumn leaves scatter by unpredictable Melbourne winds that grow colder by the day. As the unbearable cold embraces Melbourne with the sniffles, patchy rain and a slew of cough fits, is there a light at the end of tunnel? I’m not a fan of the colder seasons and while Autumn is generally tolerable, Winter in Melbourne has gotten bitterly colder during recent years.
But with the bad, you have the good. To counter the cold, you need heat and with the melting pot that is Melbourne – we got the heat! Hotpot, Pho, Udon, Laksa, you name it and Melbourne usually has it! As an expert IG lurker, Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen (IFR) caught my eye with their bright green Yuzu broth and their generous servings of chicken wings. It’s only right that we end of the work week with a hot steaming bowl of Ramen and some chicken wings for good measure.
You enter IKR by descending down their stairs where you’ll be greeted by a large dining area that encompasses a transparent kitchen, bar and to the side there is a closed area for private functions.
- Renkon chips; crispy, salty and very moreish. Great with beer.
- Kaarage: Mouth scaldingly hot, slightly juicy, crispy and generously sized for each piece. Medium-tiered kaarage, I’ll say.
- Pork potato croquettes: I’ve had better croquettes but these weren’t that bad. The filling was soft and the pork flavour was definitely there.
- Chicken wings: These caught us off-guard slightly only because of their size. They look oddly shaped because they’re chicken wingettes that’s been split in half and fried. The teriyaki flavours were nice (not overly sweet) and like most of the appetizers we ordered – if you’re having after work drinks and want a nibble or two, IFR would be nice alternative a place to relax.
- The Ramen at IFR is delicious and has a variety of customisation that the customer has at their disposal. You can control the richness of the broth, hardness of the noodles and any extras you may want. I was expecting a flavour blast from the Yuzu-based broth but was pleasantly surprised that the Yuzu wasn’t overpowering and it’s subtle citrus cut through the rich Tonkotsu broth. My black garlic broth was heavy and the soup was highly drinkable but I had to stop myself because I’m sure my broth was probably over 900 calories (I’m not complaining, I swear!).
- Service: IKR’s service was generally fine and was a non-issue until I realised it was quite an ordeal to get some water for our table. I’m sure this incident is probably isolated to us only because everyone that entered the restaurant was greeted with water. But it seems to be a bit much when you ask the same waitress for water 3 times, no?
- Price: Hunter’s bowl of Yuzu Ramen amounted to $28. Granted there were many extras – you’ll have to make decisions whether the price justifies the quality. I would say IKR falls into the more expensive end of Ramen in Melbourne so don’t expect Ramen for less than $15 here.
3.5 moustaches out of 5