Dining reviewer WENDY JOHNSON goes in search of some comforting, winter food and finds it in Manuka.
WINTER commands warm, comforting food, such as a hearty, nourishing and tasty ramen.
Ohsama Ramen, tucked away in Palmerston Lane, Manuka, specialises in this type of wildly popular Japanese noodle/soup dish.
The question was, which to choose?
My friend decided on the “Oh! Sama Tori Chicken Ramen” ($24).
Her slowly simmered chicken broth was loaded with goodies – as excellent ramen are – and in a massive bowl with presence.
Thin noodles filled the bottom of the bowl, and greens included heaps of bok-choy cabbage. A half sweet soy poached egg sat on top of the noodles along with thick slices of chicken breast. Other toppings featured crunchy bamboo shoots, roasted, nutty sesame and black fungus. A decent dose of green shallot oil perked up the flavours.
While my friend enjoyed her chicken ramen, I could see her watching my ramen choice with an eagle eye. It was food-envy time …
My “Orochyon Spicy Miso Ramen” had great kick with the garlic chilli oil. The thin, yellow noodles were in a pork and chicken-based soup that married well with the heavenly slices of tamari soy braised pork belly. Toppings included a sweet soy poached egg, black fungus, bok-choy, shallots and more ($24). The colourful dish was packed with flavour and not overpowering on the chilli.
I offered my friend a taste or two and she confirmed her food envy (poor thing).
Other ramen includes a vegetarian version ($23) and a curry version ($23). Ohsama Ramen has several types of noodles (including soba).
Before our ramen we checked out the specials board and shared the Gyoza dumplings, which were delightful (eight pieces for $15). Other specials included cold ramen with salads (perhaps on a warmer day), wonton soup, barbecue pork buns, prawn tempura on rice and pan-fried pork tripe on rice. Specials start at $8 and top off at $23.
An item on the main menu that intrigued me was the Tasmanian salmon don, with the sashimi served on top of sushi rice and accompanied by pink ginger and wasabi ($28).
Kids’ meals include two types of ramen ($15 each), a curry ($14) and a fried chicken don ($14).
Ohsama Ramen is a cosy spot; not too big and the place features a long, communal table in the centre. We sat at a small table along the long bench seating on the right-hand side of the restaurant. We felt the tables were uncomfortably tight. When I went to order our food at the counter, I had to carefully manoeuvre sideways between our table and the next one. Despite my care, I still knocked a saltshaker off the table (twice, actually!).
Service was slightly slow, although to be fair it was a busy Saturday lunch. Ohsama Ramen is BYO.
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