Hakata-Maru Ramen

September 16, 2014

I am constantly on the hunt to find the best ramen in Sydney and so far the contenders are Ippudo and Gumshara. Gumshara offers better value for money and is popular for their thick, collagen-filled broth which some people may not be too fond of. On the other hand, Ippudo offers the traditional tonkotsu-based broth that I am sure we are all familiar with however at a relatively higher price tag. Hakata-Maru Ramen is a joint that has been garnering some attention in the ramen scene and like Gumshara it is located in a food court. It can be found at Market City in Haymarket on the top floor. It was a quiet Saturday night when we arrived so the wait was not long at all. 

Tonkatsu $3
The tonkatsu was one of the five side dishes available to order along with a bowl of ramen. Priced at just $3 it was definitely good value for money. The juicy piece of pork breaded with panko was deep fried to provide the perfect crunchiness and together with the drizzle of tonkatsu sauce was extremely delicious. 

White tonkotsu ramen with soft-boiled egg $8.80
Generally when I evaluate any ramen restaurant I prefer to try their plain broth first and I almost always order a soft-boiled egg to go with my ramen. The noodles were cooked well with the right amount of chewiness. The sliced pork from what I remember was decent but did not pull apart as easily as what is served at Gumshara and also lacked flavour. In addition, the soft-boiled egg was overdone as the yolk was mostly cooked through. The broth however was actually quite good and not too salty. If you are not a fan of the thick Gumshara broth but still like a fuller consistency then you most probably will enjoy this.

Dan dan tonkotsu ramen with soft-boiled egg $10.80
Dan dan tonkotsu ramen consisted of the usual broth with the addition of Szechuan pepper, sesame paste and chilli for those spicy lovers out there. Spiciness is subjective but I did not find it unbearably spicy and neither did DT. It was enjoyable because the chilli gave a good hit of spiciness in the mouth leaving a slightly hot sensation. The soft-boiled egg again was overcooked though.

Many ramen places are popping up in the Sydney CBD and I suppose getting a good bowl of ramen is not difficult now because of the increasing competition. Hakata-Maru Ramen did not disappoint and it is really comparable to Ippudo but with the advantage of a cheaper price tag. I am still yet to have ramen as good as what I had at Ichiran in Japan though.

Hakata-Maru Ramen on Urbanspoon

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