As the winter chill sets into Sydney, our favourite way to combat the cold is to tuck into a big bowl of noodle soup – preferably ramen. Luckily for us one Saturday night, we didn’t have to venture too far to get our fix as we went over to Yasaka Ramen’s Neutral Bay outlet which opened last year. You may have heard of them before as Yasaka Ramen also have a city store in Town Hall and a catchy tagline: “No Ramen No Life”.
We came for their signature Shin Yasaka Ramen, which is only available at the Neutral Bay outlet. We were impressed by the thick, richly flavoured tonkotsu broth that is the product of hours of cooking pork bones with water to create the soup base. We found that the Shin Yasaka Ramen broth is thicker than the Ippudo one, but not quite as thick as the Gumshara one (which I find just too thick to drink). What’s great about Yasaka Ramen is how much you can customise your ramen with different options – you can pick from 3 flavourings for the broth (shoyu, shio and miso), as well as some interesting extras like black garlic sauce and the gigantic spare rib that we ended up getting on top of our ramen.
Shin Yasaka Ramen, $14.80
The other ramen we tried was the seasonal Ebiton ramen, which is a blend of pork and prawn broth for something a bit different. Seafood lovers will enjoy this option as the prawn broth is intensely flavoured and melds in nicely with the rich pork tonkotsu to create a more balanced soup base that isn’t as thick as the original.
We also got a few sides to share and especially liked the juicy CharShu Bao (a.k.a. trendy version of a BBQ pork bun) as well as the addictive Spicy Karaage Chicken in all its fried glory.
CharShu Bao and Kakuni Bao $6.80 each
Spicy Karaage Chicken, $7.80
We washed down our snacks with some rather Japanese drinks – a lovely Green Tea Latte and a fruity Mango Calpis (a tangy, milky Japanese soft drink), which helped to cut through all the rich flavours in our dinner.
Green Tea Latte, $5.50 and Mango Calpis, $4.50
Neutral Bay has its fair share of Japanese restaurants, but the cosy Yasaka Ramen is authentic and perfect for a delicious, quick and satisfying feed when that ramen craving hits – especially if you live on the north side of the bridge.
Excuse Me Waiter dined as guests of Yasaka Ramen