Sunday, November 29, 2009

Ajisen Ramen

130 Bourke St, Melbourne
Ph: (03) 9662 1100

Enthusiasm is very contagious. So when I read Dan from Tummy Rumbles articles about how good ramen is, especially the ones in Japan, and his constant pursuit for the best ramen in Melbourne, it got me really interested in ramen too. I order ramen at any Japanese restaurant that has them. But usually, those aren't even proper ramen, more like instant noodles. One recommendation from Dan that does authentic ramen is Ramen Ya. I really love the ramen there, so rich in flavour. So when Dan recommended Ajisen Ramen, I just had to go and try it.

The Australian branch of Ajisen Ramen doesn't have a website, but the Ajisen Ramen Singaporean website seems to offer a similar menu with a few extra dishes.

The restaurant looks like your typical Asian cafe with low undressed tables and stools. At the time that we went, it was fairly full, with most of the diners young student types of Asian descent (it's so PC now that you can't call people Asian on Crime Stoppers, but they're of Asian descent, so funny).

We pulled up a table and got some Japanese beer whilst perusing the menu. There is indeed a lot of options, and I wanted to try everything. In the end, Dennis and I both decided to try the Ajisen ramen (which is basically a charshu ramen) and Kevin went for the Tonkatsu ramen. We also got some Takoyaki and Tataki to share.

The takoyaki and tataki were actually both very good. My ramen was very good. It had a nice rich full flavour, the pork was soft and tender and the noodles were just right. I would definitely come back for the food. It's all tasty and at a good price. I actually prefer the Ramen Ya ramen, but these are also good and different in flavour.

However, as Dan had noted, there is indeed a smell wafting through the restaurant. We were seated near the toilets and the smell hit me immediately. I have an ultra strong sense of smell and it really assaulted me. Kevin also smelt it but Dennis didn't seem to. The smell is definitely that of pipes. It's not about the toilets but the pipes. I could also smell the toilet spray that they used to try and mask the pipes. It sort of works at times but then at other times I could smell the stink. Once the food arrived, I didn't smell it as much, but it was always there in the background.

Apart from the smell, the place has quite a nice feel and the service was fairly prompt. The prices are very good and I would come back to eat, albeit possibly sitting further from the toilets.

Overall Rating: 13/20, Good ramen at good prices. The stink from the water pipes may annoy you.

Scores: 1-9: Unacceptable, don't bother. 10-11: Just OK,some shortcomings. 12: Fair. 13: Getting there. 14: Recommended. 15: Good. 16: Really good. 17: Truly excellent. 18: An outstanding experience. 19-20:Approaching perfection, Victoria's best.

Ajisen Ramen on Urbanspoon


  1. hey thanh it is possible to see you reviews ranked in different ways. Eg best score or by cuisine? Or have them come up on some sort of (google?)map? Mas =)

  2. Hey Mas, I want to be able to sort by score, cuisine, location etc. However, Blogger is quite basic and I have to hard code everything. I don't know how to setup a database that lets you sort by different variables.

    I can post the Google map of locations of where I've eaten but I don't know how to link to my scores. I shall investigate.