For a chain restaurant, Ajisen Ramen makes pretty good ramen; it was humble, comforting and their broth really warms your belly. They have a wide selection of ramen to choose from, in addition to other Japanese foods and drinks. The location is secluded and hidden away from the hustle and bustle of Melbourne Central and it was really nice and peaceful when I visited. The waitress who served A.T and I was confident and very knowledgable with the menu. She knew her stuff back to front, which is always nice to see.
Shared entree & drinks:
Takoyaki (6 pieces for $7) – grilled octopus served w/ bonito flakes and radish in special sauce
Their takoyaki was very tasty, especially for their pretty cheap prices which did enhance its tastiness! Ajisen Ramen did not hesitate with the sauce and bonito flakes which was fine by me. I think a good takoyaki needs a good amount of its accompaniments. They also added radish, something I haven’t encountered until now but it’s brilliant because the radish adds an extra crunch and goes particularly well with the sauces. The balls weren’t that crispy though and only had a tiny 1cm piece of octopus in each ball, but I have yet to find takoyaki with more filling than that (maybe in Japan. One day Thao, one day).
Root beer & green tea float ($5 each) - served w/ ice cream
I thought the addition of floats onto their menu was an innovative little idea (well I’ve never seen it before, not with root beer and green tea at least!) and I really loved it. The green tea was very refreshing and the perfect way to end a comforting and heavy meal like ramen. It does have a grainy texture but I didn’t mind it that much, the ice-cream compensates. :) Root beer was on the gassier side but still delicious because I lurveeee me some root beer. It’s like a fizzier more sour/sweet and yummier version of coke… kinda like coke on coke (geddit coke, as in drugs? No? Ok)
(I don’t remember the prices of the ramen and silly me didn’t think to note it down but it ranged from.. $10-13 I think? Okay maybe not, don’t trust that.. oh gosh, I’m terrible. Sorry!)
Paiku ramen - ramen noodles served w/ tenderloin ribs, eggs & vegetables
Tonkatsu ramen – ramen noodles served w/ deep fried pork, egg & vegetables, with added kimchi (+$2).
The broth was thick, rich and just absorbed in all the flavour of the pork bone, but it was a tad on the oily side. The noodles were cooked al dente exactly as they say and so slippery, it just slides as you slurp it all up! The tonkatsu was mediocre, as the crumb became soggy whilst it drowned into the broth which was inevitable. I liked how they cooked their eggs, ensuring that it wasn’t too overcooked so the yolk is still quite nicely golden orange. The kimchi on the other hand was lacking in impact and there were a few pieces that looked… off.
Quality of the food – 7.5/10
Price (based on food quality) – reasonable
Service – 7/10
Atmosphere – calm, quiet and relaxing (mind you I came during closing time)
Overall experience – 7.5/10
Ajisen Ramen (Japanese)
Shop GD13, Melbourne Central, 211 La Trobe St, Melbourne (CBD)
(03) 9650 8986
Open Monday to Sunday 11.30AM – 9.00PM
Arigatou, ja ne! :)
From Your Weekly Foodie,