Open every day for Lunch 11:30am–3pm, Dinner 5–9pm (until 9:30pm on Fri & Sat)
Phone: (03) 9042 1588
This following bowl came for dinner the same night as the previous posts lunch meal and so I was still feeling the pinch of two serves of noodles when we arrived at Mr Ramen San literally like 3 hours later. I had been prepared for this shop though as this meal had been planned for months and my friend had been telling me about how good it was for just as long.
Initial impressions of the look of the shop were strong. Located at the end of a long arcade comprised of various restaurants, the owners have certainly gone to the trouble to create the vibe of a traditional Ramen Ya that you might find anywhere in Japan. Various Noren and Lanterns decorate the frontage, while the window is plastered with beer posters and the menu. Inside is a similar story, a large, dark, square room with the kitchen lining the back wall.
The menu is pretty straight forward/covers all bases. Choices of pork, beef, teriyaki chicken, spicy ground chicken, seafood ramen, two vegetarian options (that become vegan when the egg is omitted), a nabe hot pot style dish, and tsukamen in the summer months. All of the carnivore bowls can be optioned with various choices of broth including tonkotsu, spicy tonkotsu, shoyu and miso. There's variety of sides that can be added at extra cost and they offer free extra noodles if you're still hungry (I wasn't on this night). I didn't memorise the entire drinks menu but we ordered imported tap Saporo in a typical stein, and I remember a few Japanese bottled options and soft drinks.
Of course I went for the Tonkotsu while my three dining partners opted for veggie or vegan. After a 10 minute wait on a busy night (nice), the presentation that arrived was relatively standard. No particular love put into how it looked, but everything in the bowl was visible to some degree. A big square of nori, charsu pork shoulder, cloudy soup, menma, half egg, sliced black fungus mushroom, and garnished with a mix of sliced spring onion and sliced baby leek (I think?). The egg was cooked to the correct degree, but like today's lunch, it was a little small/unsubstantial. The rolled shoulder was masterful, not too soft like cat food, nor too chewy from overcooking. The amount supplied was also pretty generous. The broth itself was thick, sticky and clean, though perhaps a little under seasoned for my salt fiend tastebuds. It was certainly one of the better examples that I have experienced though.
Average pricing runs from $13 to $15 which is pretty reasonable for what is supplied. I'd certainly head back here based on that fact alone. They serve in deep bowls that are sipped from with ease. Black plastic spoons and slippery chop sticks are the standard. From memory all of the payment options are available, though they didn't let us split our bill. The shop is more or less in the middle of the Melbourne CBD so parking is hit or miss I suppose.
My mate loves this place and I think if I were a local it would probably be my preference also. Certainly worth the visit and probably even a return visit if you're from out of town. Perhaps my enthusiasm was a little low on this night as I was still trying to recover from our big double serving noodle lunch, but a month later and I can still remember the entire experience (in a good way), so that's got to be a promising thing.