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Default Place, Not Default Flavour: Ramen Kan

I don’t know about you, but I have a default restaurant: the place I go when I want to get out of the house but can’t be bothered thinking about it too much (and this is often followed by a spur of the moment movie). For me, that place is Ramen Kan in Bondi Junction. So beloved is it that if nearby friends discover that I have been without them, I am sternly reprimanded.

My Ramen Kan meal always begins with beautifully steamed edamame; aka the food of the Buddhist gods because it’s good for the soul, good for the body and good for the tastebuds. I’m not altogether sure what tastebuds have to do with Buddhist gods but one really can’t over-examine an analogy and expect good things to come of it.

To follow, a steaming bowl of noodle soup is perfection. Others may be swayed by the teriyaki or sukiyaki or yakisoba – more power to them. For me, a broth that has been brewing for three days in all its porky-goodness topped with a light spray of udon noodle and a sprinkle of crunchy shallot is an elephant’s sufficiency. Yes, you read correctly, three days. Brilliant!

I mean to order something different each time, really I do. My usual dining companion has visited the menu from chicken curry to salmon rice and back to the eponymous ramen. I’m jealous really. I do want to be fickle with my menu choices but then a big bowl of that fragrant soup wafts past me en route to another table and I’m a goner.

The servings are man-sized, just like the flavour. You will want for nothing after a meal at Ramen Kan. And best of all, it’s pretty cheap. I mean it’s not $7 cheap but you’re not getting scraggly bits of gristle-y chicken in a dishwater broth. A big bowl of udon will set you back somewhere in the region of $12 which is great value for the quality of the meal.

The wait during peak periods can be a little stretchy. If you’re planning on a Saturday night venture around 7.30pm, bring a crossword puzzle. Or travel Boggle. Whatever floats your boat. Actually most nights around that time it’s pretty busy, but arrive a little bit earlier and you’ll stroll straight in. Otherwise, if you’re happy to wait 10-15 minutes, they’ll take your name and wave you in when it’s time. The turnover is quick and food arrives speedily so you can’t ask for more than that!

Ramen Kan makes me happy.

You can find them at the corner of Ebley and Bronte Streets in Bondi Junction. Close enough to park at the movies and walk over.

words: Kristen Hodges


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