I am loving all the new options popping up in Sydney for ramen and have heard about Hakata-Maru Ramen, which is in the Market City food court and is a strong contender for one of the tastiest food court versions in town. They serve up the same Hakata style ramen as the more pricey Ippudo, with hearty tonkotsu pork bone broth and thin, straight noodles.
Apart from the big, cheerful looking sign proclaiming its name, Hakata-Maru’s set up is basic as expected from a food court outlet. There’s one long counter where you order from one corner and pick up from the other, along with a condiments station. It’s also an open kitchen so you can watch as they put together your order for you.
The menu is pretty simple and written above the counter with picture guides – choose the type of tonkotsu ramen you would like: white (plain), black (garlic) or red (spicy miso) or their more exotic offerings like their Dan Dan Men (Szechuan style). There’s a small selection of the standard sides as well (gyoza etc) but I only had eyes for the ramen today.
Black Tonkotsu Ramen, $9.80
My choice was the Black Tonkotsu, which has a layer of intense dark garlic oil and fried garlic flakes. Although the bowls are a bit smaller at Hakata-Maru than other ramen joints around, the flavours in the broth didn’t disappoint and it had a decent consistency that made it easy to drink. I am a fan of thin, straight ramen noodles in general, although Hakata-Maru’s were a bit softer than I had expected. The half runny egg was done well too and overall it’s very good value for a whole meal.
Market City isn’t the classiest food court out there, but it’s worth nabbing a table there and tucking into a comforting bowl of ramen from Hakata-Maru if you’re after a quick, affordable and flavoursome feed.
Shop 3 Level 3 Market City
9-13 Hay St Haymarket, NSW 2000
Ph: (02) 9281 6648