Ramen Bankara, Swanston Street

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MELBOURNE | Ramen Bankara operates a series of chains in Japan, and have recently expanded to Australia, where they currently operate 4 stores. The City Lane was invited to try a few things from the menu at the Swanston Street store and, being keen lovers of ramen we were very curious to see how the offering here stacked up to Melbourne’s best ramen. Ramen Bankara is famous for its signature Toyko-style “Bankara” ramen, made using founder Naoki Kusano’s family recipe – a thick, sweet and savoury pork bone broth infused with shoyu.

Servings are large, and there are a lot of noodles but disappointingly only one slice of char sui is included in a standard bowl ($13.80) of ramen and no soy sauce marinated egg – if you want Kakuni (braised pork belly) and egg you have to pay extra ($19.80) for a “Premium” bowl. Having said that, the standard bowl is still very filling owing to the generous amount of noodles, and the pork belly if you do pay for it is large. We just wish the egg was included as standard. The ramen broth is representative of the Tokyo-style, but not as creamy as we’d expect from a pork bone broth. It is however, very flavoursome. Overall, a tasty, if pricey bowl of ramen. If the Bankara Ramen isn’t what you want, there’s also the option of Tonkotsu Ramen, Chuka Soba and Tsukumen.

Beyond ramen, the sides here are quite impressive. Karaage, gyoza, tofu, takoyaki and ice-cream make appearances amongst other things. The takoyaki are very good, some of the best we’ve tried in Melbourne with a taste and texture that’s bang on. The ice-cream also impresses – green tea is good but go for the black sesame flavour which is even better.

Service at Ramen Bankara is fantastic. Usually we don’t comment on service when we’ve been invited to a venue. If the venue knows who you are you can almost always expect great service. How do you know if the service is good for everyone else? Observation. Every customer that walked through the door was greeted with the same cheerfulness that we were greeted with and dealt with in a prompt, friendly manner at their table.

There might be better tasting and more affordable ramen in Melbourne, but once you take into account the lively atmosphere, friendly service, tasty side dishes, great location and generous opening hours of Ramen Bankara, you begin to see why it’s always busy.

Ramen Bankara

305 Swanston Street
Melbourne
Victoria 3000
Australia

Telephone: (03) 9663 8862
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: http://www.ramenbankara.com.au/

Open
Sun – Thu: 11:00am to 12:00am
Fri – Sat: 11:00am to 2:00am

Ramen Bankara Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Paul
Paul
Paul founded The City Lane back in 2009 as a place to share photos of his travels around Europe with friends and family. The City Lane might have changed quite a lot since those early days but one thing that’s remained constant is Paul’s passion for food, travel and culture, and a desire to photograph and write about his experiences. Paul has a strong inquisitive nature that drives him to look beneath the surface in order to discover what really makes a city and its people tick, and what better way to do this than over a good meal or drink, with a city’s locals, at places that people who live in that city actually frequent. Paul is also a co-host of The Brunswick Beer Collective, a podcast that may or may not actually be about beer.

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