Yasaka Ramen, Sydney

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No Ramen No Life. With a motto like that prin­ted on their nap­kins and on the back of the staff’s shirts, you bet­ter believe that Yasaka Ramen takes ramen seriously.

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To start, we have drinks. On the left is the Guava Calpis ($4.50) and on the right is Mango Calpis ($4.50). Both taste like the fla­vour of Golden Circle’s Guava Nectar and Mango Nectar, but the sig­na­ture sweet yoghurt fla­vour of Calpis is near undetect­able. Not pic­tured is T’s Lemon Tea ($2, with a ramen order), which is lightly sweet with a mel­low lem­on flavour.

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I indulge my soft spot for soft-boiled eggs and decide on the Egg Ramen ($14.80) with Yasaka ori­gin­al tonkotsu soup seasoned with soy sauce paste and topped with chashu, spring onion and bam­boo shoots.

The tonkotsu soup at Yasaka Ramen is suit­ably thick, with the head chef hav­ing worked at Gumshara Ramen, the food court res­taur­ant fam­ous for its thick soup. The thick­ness — the kind that con­geals — opacks a depth of fla­vour that you don’t find in thin­ner soups. The noodles are made out front behind a glass win­dow and also of the thick­er kind with a more­ish chewy tex­ture, while the chashu is tender and the soft boiled egg is per­fectly gooey, soak­ing up the fla­vour from the soup.

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T decides on their Kakuni Ramen ($16.80) that swaps the chashu out for simmered pork soft bone. The pork is deli­ciously melt-in-your-mouth.

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As an entree (that arrived well and truly after we’d received out ramen), we try their Karaage ($8.50 for 6 pieces) with ponzu mayo.

We’d ini­tially wanted to their the ikayaki (a squid pan­cake fam­ous to Osaka), but were told that it was no longer sold even though it was advert­ised on their menu down­stairs. Anyway!

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The pieces of chick­en arrived barely cooked, many still pink in the middle. The pieces were small at about 3cm, and it looks as if bulked up the dish with an overly gen­er­ous spring onion salad with very few actu­al salad leaves. That aside the bat­ter was crispy, although the pieces of chick­en thigh weren’t as juicy as we’d liked.

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And finally, dessert with Green Tea Ice Cream ($5). We’d ordered the roas­ted green tea ice cream, but the Japanese wait­ress had such poor com­mand of the English lan­guage, that we ended up receiv­ing green tea instead. We’d waited some time for them to arrive that we couldn’t be bothered kick­ing up a fuss.

The ice cream was icy with a slight sweet­ness and mel­low green tea fla­vour. Pleasantly, there wasn’t a strong dairy fla­vour, but the sweet­ness and strong chocol­ate fla­vour from the wafer stick over­whelmed the subtle green tea notes when eaten together.

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Yasaka Ramen does indeed take ramen ser­i­ously and it shows. Come here for the ramen, but I’d pass on the entrees. Groups of three or more can expect a wait dur­ing around mid­day, as they only accom­mod­ate groups in their upstairs seat­ing area.

Yasaka Ramen is at 126 Liverpool St, Sydney NSW 2000.