Back in the day when I knew absolutely nothing about ramen and Sir D hated the stuff, Ichi-ban Boshi was one of the first ramen places I ever visited and blogged about. I remember thinking that the queues outside the restaurant must mean that they’re serving up some pretty good food, but to be honest after my first visit I was not particularly wowed.
Things have changed a lot since then – lots of ramen places have opened up in the last couple of years meaning that I’ve been able to try different types of ramen and just eat a lot more ramen in general! So when I visited Ichi-ban Boshi again armed with my new ramen knowledge, it was quite a different experience
A hot night meant that a cold drink was in order, and while Ichi-ban boshi has sake and Japanese beers on offer, I settled on an iced green tea cappuccino. The milky green tea is topped with an impressive amount of milk foam and raw sugar crystals. The drink also comes with a little jug of sugar syrup which you can add to your drink to adjust the sweetness of it.
We start with the gyoza which we’re told is one of the most popular items on the entree section of the menu. The gyoza are made in house and we can see why they’re so popular – the bottoms are nicely crisped up and the dumpling pastry is rolled out quite thin. The gyoza are served on a soy and vinegar dipping sauce.
I’m a sucker for ox tongue so when we spot this on the menu we have to order it. There’s six pieces of thinly sliced ox tongue which are grilled and served with salt and chilli powder, and a wedge of lemon which is squeezed over the meat. The tongue is a little chewy but the fact that it’s been sliced so thinly means that it’s not at all difficult to eat.
Sir D goes for the Negimiso ramen as it’s something that we don’t see too often. He loves Japanese negi and this is topped with a mountain of it, finely sliced into matchsticks. The miso broth is spiked with chilli making it a little bit spicy, and who doesn’t love the addition of corn to ramen? Sir D is a little disappointed that it only comes with one slice of chashu though, but it’s still a satisfying bowl of ramen.
I’m plagued with indecision when looking at the menu, unable to decide between the tonkotsu ramen ($11.90), aburi chashu-men with grilled roast pork ($13) or the tsukemen ($13). I settle on the tsukemen and am offered the option of having it with regular egg noodles or spinach noodles. Spinach noodles it is!
The noodles themselves are cold but come with a concentrated hot soup that has corn, leeks, roast pork, fishcake and seaweed. The noodles are laid out on a large plate and are dipped into the soup by the mouthful before eating, which coats each noodle strand with some of the broth. It’s fast becoming one of my favourite types of ramen, especially as the weather gets warmer.
Ichi-ban Boshi makes their ramen noodles in house which is why they’re able to offer two types of ramen noodles. Apparently making the noodles themselves rather than buying them actually cuts down costs and allows them to keep their menu prices down for customers. The spinach noodles are green but I can’t really discern any difference between the flavour of the spinach noodles and the normal egg noodles. But it is a bit of a novelty to have green noodles!
Both Sir D and I thoroughly enjoyed our meal here and I actually thought it was much better than my first visit. We found out that there’s actually an express version of Ichi-ban Boshi downstairs in the Galeries Victoria food court which has a reduced menu of noodles and rice bowls for a quick lunchtime feed with ramen starting from $6.80 take away. So if you’re ever craving ramen but don’t have time to sit down and eat a bowl of it in a restaurant – now you know where to go!
Penguin says Feed Me dined at Ichi-ban Boshi courtesy of SD Marketing.
Level 2, The Galeries
500 George St
Sydney NSW 2000
Ph: +61 2 9262 7677
Open 7 days, 11am-9pm