MELBOURNE | I first tried tantanmen a few ago at Usagi in Tokyo, and have been hooked on the delicious ramen style ever since.
Tantanmen is the Japanese take on Sichuan Dan Dan noodles. It’s ramen noodles in a wonderfully balanced soup with hot spiciness from rayu Japanese chili oil and a nutty sweetness from soy milk and sesame (or sometimes peanut) paste.
Good versions of the style are far and few between in Melbourne, so when a friend of mine, who I was at Usagi with, told me that a new ramen spot, Akira Ramen Karaage Bar, had. Opened in the city and were serving up a tasty tantanmen, I had to check it out.
The space is small and low lit, reminiscent of a Tokyo izakaya. The menu is small. A signature chicken ramen, tantanmen, karaage, and a handful of other things. I opted for the tantanmen, of course, while my friend went for the signature ramen. Long story short, I really enjoyed my bowl. A light and balanced broth, with the required flavours coming through nicely, and firm, springy noodles. The karaage hit the spot too, although the spicy could have been a bit spicier.
Definitely one I’ll add to my ramen list when I’m looking for something different than my go to tonkotsu ramen.
Akira Ramen Karaage Bar
221 Russell Street
Telephone: 0414 749 897
Mon – Tue: 6:00pm to 9:30pm
Wed – Thu: 12:00pm to 2:30pm, 6:00pm to 9:30pm
Fri – Sat: 12:00pm to 3:00pm, 6:00pm to 9:30pm
Sun: 12:00pm to 2:30pm, 6:00pm to 9:30pm