Saturday, May 14, 2011

Ramen Bar, Newtown

After my little outing to Gumshara a few weeks ago my interest in Ramen has been piqued. Needless to say I'm more than happy when I find out that Ramen Bar has opened up at Berkelouw Books in Newtown.   Asides from food my other great love is books, combine the two and I'm in heaven.

The menu at Ramen Bar is short and sweet, but I still agonise over what to order. Whilst I found the rich, pork tonkotsu broth at Gumshara interesting I didn't "love love" it. At heart I know I'm more of a Shoyu Ramen girl.  I prefer the thin, salty broth.

So now that we've established that my decision making process seemed to get much easier and I select the Miyagi Ramen ($11.00). Yes children of the 80s this dish is indeed a homage to the wonderful Mr Miyagi of the original Karate Kid (god I loved Ralph Machio in that movie...but I digress).

My Miyagi is made with shyuo broth which has a chicken and vegetable base that is seasoned with mirin, soy, sake and black pepper.  The glossy broth is rich and dark in colour - almost black and it's deliciously salty without being unbearably so.  The pork belly and shoulder are so tender that they shred with just a touch of my fork (yes fork, I'm totally useless with chopsticks).  The addition of a hot spring egg, that is poached rather than soft boiled, is wonderful. A prod of my ever-present fork has yolk oozing into the broth.  HEAVEN!!!

Phuoc opts for the Murakami Ramen ($11) which has all the same components as the wonderful Mr Miyagi, but with a tonkotsu pork broth. The tonkotsu broth at Ramen Bar is made in the traditional Japanese way by the Swedish chef and cooked over an 18 hour period.

As this is Miss Chicken's second visit to Ramen Bar she abandons the menu altogether and hits up the specials board. The Matsumari Ramen ($11.50) comes with mince pork and has a thick miso, sesame paste and tonkotsu broth that is almost stew like in its density. The dish is topped with shredded Bok Choy, bean shoots and corn kernels.

Ramen Bar can be found on the ground floor of Berkelouw Books, 8 O'Connell Street, Newtown.  Slurping is allowed...just not on the books!

Ramen Bar at Berkelouw Books on Urbanspoon


  1. Yum, that all looks & sounds delicious! Is it also a good book shop? It looks lovely! Love Karate Kid...the final tournament was always so exciting even after seeing the good old video many times!

  2. Gosh, thanks for the post, didn't know Berkelouw Newtown now has a ramen bar.. I think last time we were there it might have been a coffee shop.

    Great idea.. ramen aroma waffling over the books!

  3. I'm adding this place to my long ramen wish list!

    I would love the hooky goodness that a poached egg would add to a thin miso soy broth but it would probably be too rich for me if I had it with the tonkotsu

  4. I'm loving these new places that are combining food and retail. This looks heavenly for a wintery day - ramen and books!

  5. Just as well slurping is allowed! It all sure looks yummy.

  6. I have been to this book shop many times, if only the Ramen place had been open a year ago... oh well next time.

  7. I really need to get to Newtown! I'm a sucker for soft poached eggs too.

  8. mmm, you can never go past a big bowl of yummy ramen with hot broth in a cold day like this!

  9. What an 80s flashback... LOL. I'll be definitely checking this place out (and of course definitely ordering Pat Morita's dish).

  10. Hi all - thanks for leaving a comment. This place is a welcome addition to Newtown as I don't think there is anywhere else that does ramen. And the bookshop still has the cafe upstairs, but why would you venture up all those stairs when there is ramen love to be had on the ground floor!

  11. Ah, have just come to read this post. You actually have me craving ramen now, shame about the Swedish chef!

  12. this is now close btw. I live around the corner. I think its now a vegan cafe. probably.

    No food shop can survive in there. I pity any one who takes the lease. The cafe upstairs work because its lofty/warehouse and nice.


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