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Ramen O-San (CLOSED)

Restaurants Haymarket
3 out of 5 stars
 (Photograph: Aristo Risi)
Photograph: Aristo Risi
 (Photograph: Aristo Risi)
Photograph: Aristo Risi

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

Soup for the inner city souls at Ramen O-San

NOTE: this restaurant is now closed.

Tonkotsu ramen is the king of Japanese soups: bouncy, silky smooth noodles enrobed in thick, gelatinous pork bone broth. It’s also tonic in a bowl: it’ll cure a cold, a hangover… maybe even hay fever! (It’s worth a shot, right?)

You can get your hands on some of the good stuff at Ramen O San, located in the food court at Chinatown’s Dixon House. It ain’t fancy: big queues, lots of noise, crammed tables and a couple of wee ladies serving up soup, seemingly oblivious to the chaos around them.

The tonkotsu here is rich, creamy and pleasingly smoky, the requisite cloud ear mushrooms and green onions resting atop fatty ovals of pork. You should jazz things up with a marinated, soft-boiled egg (don’t think twice: do it) and veggies like cabbage and leek are textural options to seriously consider. The black garlic tonkotsu ramen is a good option if you want to mix things up, and there are also rice bowls on the menu for crazy people who don’t eat ramen.

In the interest of democratic reviewing, we tried the chicken soy ramen, too. Good thing – the soy offers fermented, umami-laden depth and adds contrast to the sweet chicken broth, which is light in texture but not in flavour.

Another thing we like about the ramen here is the size – it’s perfect for one, so you don’t leave with a food baby weighing you down for the rest of the day. Of course, if you prefer big daddy serves, you can still order the appropriately named sumo ramen – it’s bigger and bolder, boasting hunks of pork and a blended broth that also includes chicken. For a quick lunch in the city – light, just right or gigantic – Ramen O San has a fix that fits. It’s hard to beat the basics.

By: Freya Herring



Address: Shop F1A
Sussex Centre Food Court
401 Sussex Street
Opening hours: Mon, Wed-Sun 11am-8.30pm. Closed Tuesdays.
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