Cook Up A Spicy Curry For Anti-Poverty Week!

Cook Up A Spicy Curry For Anti-Poverty Week!

Are you a curry lover? Do you like to get in the kitchen and cook up a storm? Are you passionate about ending the poverty cycle? Are you a foodie? Then get on board with other Aussies for The Great Australian Curry Fundraising Campaign. It's simple, fun and profound. Opportunity International Australia invites Aussies to cook up a curry this October or November, share it with family and friends and raise funds so families in developing countries can receive small loans to build businesses and break the crippling cycle of poverty.

Set up a fundraiser on the Opportunity International website and cook your spicy curry to raise money to break poverty!

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ASHBURTON MEATS TAKES OUT BEST RETAIL BUTCHER SHOP IN VICTORIA

ASHBURTON MEATS TAKES OUT BEST RETAIL BUTCHER SHOP IN VICTORIA

The Best Butcher in Victoria is in Melbourne’s Ashburton. Melbourne’s Ashburton Meats Butcher shop, in the south-eastern suburb of Ashburton, has been awarded the Victorian Retail Butcher Shop of the Year Award 2017 by The Australian Meat Industry Council (AMIC). The announcement was made at the AMIC Awards on Saturday, October 14, held in Melbourne at Aerial, South Wharf.

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Best Boutique Wineries in Victoria

Best Boutique Wineries in Victoria

Here are our favourite boutique wineries in Victoria. We enjoy a range of wineries but we especially enjoy the bespoke and boutique winery experience.

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Laneway Tour Highlight in Food & Beverage Trade Week

Laneway Tour Highlight in Food & Beverage Trade Week

How good are Melbourne's laneways? An attraction in themselves with a plethora of culinary delights and hidden gems. The World Loves Melbourne participated in a culinary tour of Melbourne's most well-known laneway restaurants as part of the Victorian Government's Food and Beverage Trade Week. Having been a part of last year's Laneway Tour this was an event not to be missed!

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Support Collateral Repair Project for Syrian Refugees

Support Collateral Repair Project for Syrian Refugees

Support for refugees is something most of us are passionate about. Christopher Krambias, Jey Jeyabala and Matthew Butera (all of refugee or migrant background) have organised a fund raising event at CH James cafe in Fairfield for the Collateral Repair Project (CRP), a grassroots organisation working out of Amman, Jordan to provide basic support to refugees. The event will be held on November 4th and ticket numbers are already strong. This is a great cause where the money goes to the grassroots need not to the administrators. It's a charity that Christopher and CH James have supported in the past -  and the event they held at CH James last year was a great success. We are encouraging everyone to get on board with this project.

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Chef Joe Grbac Opens Saxe

Chef Joe Grbac Opens Saxe

Chef Joe Grbac’s first solo-business venture, Saxe at 211 Queen Street, has opened with much anticipation. Grbac, who headed up The Press Club and was co-owner and executive chef of Collingwood’s Saint Crispin has been keen to get the doors open of his 70-seater and bring his menu of contemporary Australian dishes to the law and corporate precincts of the CBD. It's another exciting launch for 2017 by a heralded chef.

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Nostalgic Carpetbag Steak Recreated at Marriott Culinary and Beverage Workshop

Nostalgic Carpetbag Steak Recreated at Marriott Culinary and Beverage Workshop

Carpetbag steak, an iconic menu item of the 1950's to 90s in Australia, was recently revived at the Marriott Culinary and Beverage Workshop at De Bortoli Winery. Participating influencers were asked by Marriott chefs to nominate a childhood nostalgic dish and The World Loves Melbourne nominated Carpetbag steak! It was an unforgettable day of fun, nostalgia, premium producers, and fine food!

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Marriott Chefs Hit High Notes with Producers at Yarra Valley Event

Marriott Chefs Hit High Notes with Producers at Yarra Valley Event

Local producers working with top Marriott chefs and influencers was a match made in heaven, for a unique event in the Yarra Valley. The World Loves Melbourne was invited to a fabulous dinner and night at The Westin Melbourne, then on to the Marriott Hotels Culinary & Beverage Workshop at De Bortoli Winery in the Yarra Valley  - where we met Marriott chefs from around Australia, as well as some from overseas, and were able to see our childhood nostalgic dishes recreated!

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Biggie Smalls Launches in Chapel St Windsor

Biggie Smalls Launches in Chapel St Windsor

Acclaimed chef and restaurateur Shane Delia has launched his second Biggie Smalls Kbabs store at 36 Chapel Street, Windsor and The World Loves Melbourne was there at the launch.

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Jesse Gerner & Friends Launch Impressive Park St Restaurant

Jesse Gerner & Friends Launch Impressive Park St Restaurant

Park St may become your new best friend cafe and restaurant. The World Loves Melbourne was invited to experience this new venture from Melbourne foodie royalty, and we were super impressed!  After a refit that began in mid-August, the cafe formerly known as Green Park is now Park Street with a new look and (some) new owners. An all-day cafe remains, accommodating locals and families with breakfast and lunch menus. A change of focus in the evening brings a refreshed menu built around changing cicchetti and pastas.

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Four Points by Sheraton Best Brews Program

Four Points by Sheraton Best Brews Program

Melbourne loves both its quality hotels and its craft beers! Four Points by Sheraton, a fast-growing Marriott International hotel brand known for celebrating craft beer, is currently hosting a global tour discovering the world’s best craft beers through a series of Brew Off events. Four Points by Sheraton Melbourne Docklands, one of Marriott's newest hotels in Australia, was the third on the five-stop journey. Welcoming local media and beer lovers, The World Loves Melbourne hosted the event where guests were treated to the best of craft beer in Melbourne and insight into local craft beer by two of Melbourne's top brewers, Mountain Goat and Two Birds Brewing. Read more about the Brew Off here

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Best Hotcakes Dishes in Melbourne

Best Hotcakes Dishes in Melbourne

Best hotcakes in Melbourne? Dessert for breakfast? Melbourne is enjoying a wave of hotcakes, one of the most delicious and grammable dishes on the Melbourne brunch scene. Here are our 7 favourites:

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Four Points by Sheraton Docklands

Four Points by Sheraton Docklands "Brew Off" Showcases Amazing Local Craft Beer

On Wednesday 13 September, 2017, craft beer lovers were treated to a fabulous night of beer tasting, food and entertainment at the new Four Points by Sheraton Melbourne Docklands. Four Points by Sheraton, a booming Marriott International hotel brand known for its love of beer, is embarking upon a global tour discovering the world’s best brews. The journey kicked off at the new Four Points by Sheraton Manhattan Midtown West and The World Loves Melbourne was part of the most recent event at Four Points by Sheraton Melbourne Docklands.

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Andrew Hagger and Robyn Payne Launch Happy Hour Album at Jazz Lab

Andrew Hagger and Robyn Payne Launch Happy Hour Album at Jazz Lab

Andrew Hagger and Robyn Payne launched their new album Happy Hour at the fabulous jazz Club in Brunswick with exceptional jazz band Catsplay, and The World Loves Melbourne was there. Happy Hour will soon be released on iTunes and can be ordered online at hopeinthislife.com and Readings Carlton. At time of this article the album was No 1 on the Aria Jazz & Blues Albums Chart.

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Best Wine and Chocolate experiences in Melbourne

Best Wine and Chocolate experiences in Melbourne

Melbourne's best wine and chocolate experiences - is there any better combination than wine and chocolate. Of course we refer to red wine when it comes to chocolate. In our travels we have hugely appreciated some amazing wine and chocolate moments and we wanted to share them with you. Here are our best wine (red) and chocolate experiences in Melbourne:

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Tokosan Fun and Playful Japanese Restaurant in Prahran

Tokosan Fun and Playful Japanese Restaurant in Prahran

Tokosan is the new playful Japanese restaurant on the block. In a precinct of Prahran creatives Tokosan is the perfect destination for some cheeky fun and a sake or two, plus casual eats. Tokosan is obviously a reference to son of Toko - or inf act cheeky little sister to the more formal and serious Toko restaurant.

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A Taste Of Singapore Airlines Premium Economy Class

A Taste Of Singapore Airlines Premium Economy Class

Singapore Airlines is launching out with it's stunning Premium Economy offering on 3 of it's 4 flights out of Melbourne, and The World Loves Melbourne was invited to an exclusive media event to experience the service. It was a unique event with us joining Singapore airlines staff and executives on a plane and checking out the benefits of Premium economy including the superb food offerings.

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Celebrating 10th Anniversary of Nobu Restaurant at Crown

Celebrating 10th Anniversary of Nobu Restaurant at Crown

It was a privilege to step into the contemporary, stylish surroundings of Nobu - one of Melbourne’s best restaurants - to celebrate the 10th anniversary of this icon. It was a joy to experience the creative flavours showcased by head chef Sean Tan and his talented team and to imbibe Veuve Clicquot during the salubrious evening.

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Rustica Canteen in Hawthorn A Compelling Brunch Destination

Rustica Canteen in Hawthorn A Compelling Brunch Destination

Rustica Sourdough which began in Brunswick several years ago has been expanding, as one of the most successful bakery cafes in Melbourne. We have followed their journey since the start and from day one they have resonated with quality bakery offerings. The World Loves Melbourne was part of an UberEATS event where we met more of the UberEATS family. Obviously UberEATS is on the rise and the preferred delivery service for many people in Melbourne.

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The House of Dior: Seventy Years of Haute Culture First Look

The House of Dior: Seventy Years of Haute Culture First Look

At the launch of the Dior spectacular Melbourne was referred to as the fashion capital of Australia. Following a series of high profile fashion exhibitions in Melbourne we are now reaching peak fashion - celebrating the seventieth anniversary of the House of Dior, one of the world’s most prestigious couture houses. The World Loves Melbourne attended the National Gallery of Victoria launch of The House of Dior: Seventy Years of Haute Couture. The exhibition goes from 27 August to 7 November (admission fees apply).

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Dinner at The Modern Eatery in Richmond

Dinner at The Modern Eatery in Richmond

Melbourne's new contemporary house of Aburi sushi, The Modern Eatery,  is now open in Richmond, located on Swan Street, Richmond, after huge success with two venues in Perth. The World Loves Melbourne was invited along to sample the fare.

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Smith St. Trader Compelling Cafe/Bar in Collingwood

Smith St. Trader Compelling Cafe/Bar in Collingwood

Smith St. Trader is a compelling cafe and bar on eclectic Smith St Collingwood, full of soul and savvy, with Richard Hands a Melbourne gem and one of its best bar tender/mixologists. The World Loves Melbourne was invited to sample some of the menu one lunchtime, including an indulgent cocktail for which we don't apologise for.

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Epic Farmer, Brewer and Publican Lunch at The Lincoln for Pep Events

Epic Farmer, Brewer and Publican Lunch at The Lincoln for Pep Events

Epic is an apt description for this Pep Alliance Event hosted by Hilary McNevin at The Lincoln Hotel with publican Iain Ling and Tasmanian farmer and brewer Ashley Huntington. Ashley Huntington is a talented and passionate Tasmanian farmer who looks somewhat like Jon English but has the punk attitude of the Sex Pistols. He stands up for farmers and the industry, encouraging us all to support local farmers - and rightly so!

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Best Raclette Cheese Places in Melbourne

Best Raclette Cheese Places in Melbourne

How good is Raclette! The first time we encountered the magical world of Raclette we fell in love. We gathered around the Raclette "machine" where a wheel of premium cheese was blistering and bubbling under the heat in awe. Then with a scrape of a knife the theatre and aroma of raclette drew us in with wonder. Not to mention the taste of the oozy cheese - often paired with pickles, mushrooms or cornichons. Scraping the cheese into a small bowl, you are set for a session of bliss, especially if you pair it with say a dry white wine or a pinot noir. The joy of France and Switzerland is to be enjoyed here in Melbourne. 

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Food

Best Ramen in Melbourne

 Ramen! One of the best things to do in Melbourne is to visit one of our iconic ramen destinations; there's a wonderful world of ramen out there! The best Japanese comfort food!  Best ramen restaurants in Melbourne according to The World Loves Melbourne:

1. Mr Ramen San (Mid City Bourke St CBD)

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Mr Ramen San is an authentic ramen house, with owner Roystan having been trained by Japanese masters and bringing influences of the Kyushu area of Japan. Mr Ramen San is known for it's traditional charsu pork ramen featuring the cloudy white broth; this is the result of cooking the broth in pork bones for 10 hours. Kitchen staff are disciplined to stir the broth for 4-5 hours; a sign of dedication.

We consider Mr Ramen San to have some of the best broth in Melbourne. It's authentic. The time is taken to make it properly and with pride. And of course no MSG in sight! The World Loves Melbourne doesn't enjoy some of the thin weaker flavoured ramen broths going around; we crave for the in your face thicker pork bone stock broth! Bring it on! And we don't feel guilty about slurping!

When it comes to meat in ramen,  The World Loves Melbourne considers Mr Ramen San to offer a generous serving compared to many other ramen houses. We enjoyed the charsu pork with several thick slices of ramen; while some other ramen houses often offer a couple of thin slices of pork. We found the meat (and tofu and seafood) is the various ramen dishes to be consistently generous.

Ramen is originally the Chinese name for noodles (ramen arrived from China to Japan in the 19th Century) so quality of noodles is critical to ramen! A feature at Mr Ramen San is the house made noodles made fresh daily. Not only are they sumptuous in themselves, Mr Ramen San offers FREE extra noodles upon request. This is unlike most places who charge for extras.

Customers enjoy the sheer variety of ramen with a host of options including Charsu traditional Ramen, Beef Miso Ramen, Spicy Chicken Ramen, Vegetarian Tofu Ramen, Seafood Ramen, Spiced Pork Nabe Ramen, and Teriyaki Charsu Ramen, to name a few.

Service is paramount here with eager staff greeting customers on arrival and attentive to tables, all with a smile. There's decent room in the restaurant and tables are not crowded together. In no way are you rushed in your dining experience. 

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Tonkotsu charsu pork ramen is delectable...

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Check out the new Summer Ramen Salad (refreshing for those hot days).

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2. Kokoro Ramen (CBD)

Kokoro Ramen offers excellent Japanese ramen choices and is a great restaurant for a value quality meal. This place specialises in ramen but offers some excellent other menu options. What is exciting is the number of different ramen combinations including interesting selections such as butter and corn and soft crab.

Kokoro Ramen is an inviting restaurant with timber floor, white chairs, a modern timber panel wall, and cool naked bulb lighting. It has become popular for its authentic dishes and trendy ambience.

Like a few others in the precinct Kokoro Ramen makes their own noodles. It makes so much difference even in any soup based dish, to experience fresh home made noodles. They have four types of broth including the staple boiling pork bones. Apparently good for your health.

Ordering is via the counter which is a little out of step with most other such restaurants.

Service was excellent apart from having to line up at the counter. This place buzzes at night. 


3. Little Ramen Bar (CBD)

Little Ramen Bar is a small ramen shop in Little Bourke St (away from Chinatown) that delights. You may need to wait for a seat but the ramen is satisfying. The Classic Tonkostsu Ramen has the signature white cloudy broth and exudes a rich oily thickness. Most of the ramen come with a choice of Miso (soybean), Shoyu (special soy) or Shio (light salt). A talking point is the Vampires beware garlic infused ramen! Little Ramen bar steps up with with beers on tap. The style here is of traditional ramen and staff are polite and engaging.


4. Ramen Bankara (Doncaster)

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Ramen Bankara eminates from a series of outlets in Japan; with this ramen house opening up in Westfield Doncaster. We indulged in the Classic Chuka Soba, Premium Kakuni Bankara, Gyoza, Karaage Chicken and delicious Black Sesame Ice Cream.

The Tsukemen was a surprise alternative with thick cold noodles and soup on the side. Cold noodles in hot soup was unusual for us but rewarding!

The Bankara signature ramen was our favourite and features a rich and oily style broth, with both salty and sweet tastes. The Tonkotsu broth is soy sauce based. Pork belly used in the ramen is premium and would be our meat of choice here.

Ramen Bankara features four different types of noodles in the ramen and you can choose your ramen toppings.

The ordering system is through filling out a form - which you hand to the wait staff. The wait staff are first class and can explain the dishes if needed.

To be honest we highly enjoyed the signature ramen broth but found the Chuka Soba was quite mild in flavour (more a gateway ramen for newbies).

In terms of value the standard dishes are around market cost of $13.80 but the premium ramen can be around $20 to get a larger ramen with kakuni, seasoned boiled eggs etc. 

Desserts are popular here including Black Sesame Ice Cream and Green Tea Ice Cream, as well as the refreshing Lemon Sorbet. All in all a rewarding experience.

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5. Shop Ramen (Collingwood)

Shop Ramen is on eclectic Smith Street, with attractive in house eating as well as dining available on outside tables. This is a modern fit out with neon signage in the window and large communal table right down the middle of the restaurant. Perch on a stool in this simple but modern ramen house. The BBQ Chicken Ramen is a talking point, almost a gateway to those not used to ramen. The Pork Ramen has smoky flavours on the pork, with intense broth. The neon sign says "ramen, bun and pie" and Shop Ramen delivers when it comes to bao buns at affordable prices.

 


6. Ramen Ya (CBD)

Ramen Ya on Bourke St and in The Emporium is one of Melbourne's best ramen restaurants. Bringing an authentic brand of ramen to Melbourne. A hot contest for tables. It's difficult to claim a seat on a table already occupied by a company of friends, but you try and squeeze in anywhere you can. I cheekily joined a cheery group and fortunately they embraced me. 

The World Loves Melbourne enjoyed waiting in line and absorbing the atmosphere; with students and city workers imbibing. This is multicultural Melbourne lunchtime. In such a throbbing hub of many nations you feel connected to the world. And to Melbourne.

I enjoyed my Charsu Tonkotsu pork ramen; full of ingredients and a hearty meal with rich intense broth. 

My understanding is that the broth is a key to great ramen and this broth had been prepared over many hours to get the layering of flavours. The broth is slightly cloudy in traditional style and is extremely tasty.

Other popular ramen dishes include Tofu Ramen and Gyoza Ramen, with even Kimchi Ramen available.

Ramen Ya also pleases with its sides including karaage chicken and fried rice. 


7. Ajisen Ramen (various)

Ajisen Ramen is a great value and quality restaurant on Bourke Street extremely popular with students and lovers of good ramen. It is part of a group of restaurants originating from Japan and operating since 1968 and more recently from 2004 in Melbourne.

Walk in and be greeted by the larger than life mascot girl near the entrance. This places has two things Melbourne loves - great food and a sense of fun.

Here is the low down from the website - Ajisen Ramen specialises in ramen in tonkotsu soup which is pork bone soup. "It has lots of collagen in the soup which is good for health and prevents aging. Our noodle is made from wheat flour and cooked to al dente."

Interesting to use an Italian term to describe ramen! They also mention a secret brown sauce they serve with the ramen, that is tasty and delicious.

Ramen is the main game here so I went with the ramen in a lunch deal with the Tori Karaage chicken. The chicken came as a large portion of deep fried chicken and with a great Japanese mayo. For mine this was a sensation with perfectly fried chicken but not too oily. With the mayo it was a killer combination. I could have just settled with a bowl of this for lunch.

The Chargrilled beef ramen was excellent with tasty char grill flavours of the beef and the right amount of fatiness in the ramen. Served with egg and vegetables. You could see the char sear marks on the meat which was impressive.

The room is quite dim but a great atmosphere. Timber tables and timber stools. Condiments on the table. Art and photos on the wall. 

Unlike say Mr Ramen San, you need to pay for extras with the ramen. So it can end up being more expensive than you think.

The wheat flour noodles were of excellent quality. Quality of noodles in ramen are important.

Also impressive here is the fast and friendly service. 

The newly established Ajisen Ramen in Melbourne Central is great for those of us who work in the precinct.


8. Fukuryu Ramen (CBD)

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Fukuryu Ramen is in Chinatown; just duck down the laneway off Little Bourke and up the stairs.  Modern blazing red artwork adorns the walls. Chunky tables are scattered about; but you need to order from the counter.

We seem to always be ordering Tonkotsu Ramen at ramen houses; this ramen was described as the signature excellent although we felt the meat was really thinly sliced. We would like it to be thicker and more substantial. Broth was creamy and oily and full of flavour. There is a Silver Tonkotsu version that is the signature dish but thicker in the broth. As they say, "not for the faint hearted!"

Fukuryu Ramen divides the ramen menu into Signature and Modern; with the modern ramen including dishes such as Black Dragon with squid ink, black sesame and black pepper seasoned soup, and the Red Dragon spicy ramen made with chicken broth.

Atmosphere is pleasant as a quiet destination, with Japanese beers available (which we enjoyed with our ramen).

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9. Hakata Gensuke (various)

Hakata Gensuke Ramen is a popular ramen house and has several ramen restaurants around Melbourne, including a modern shop on Russell Street in the CBD.

Again, you need to order your ramen from the form to get the combinations of ramen style and soup. We actually prefer engaging a waiter/staff in the ordering process.  Also extra costs here; if you want extra noodles you need to pay $2 and it also costs for extra garnishes.

Signature ramen is the Tonkotsu Ramen; a thick creamy broth cooked in pork bones. For some the broth here is rather oily; while many enjoy the intensity of flavour. They cater for those who like fiery ramen - you can get your spice hit!

Hakata Gensuke Ramen also has brilliant sides such as their karaage chicken. 


10. Shizuku  (Abbotsford and now Fitzroy)

This is a ramen house with a creative menu. Whisky ramen - that's something we can embrace. Specialties include Tan Tan Men pork ramen (signature with free range pork mince and chilli kick), Tonkotsu Shoyu Ramen with a house made soy flavour, Whisky Ramen with Yamazake 12 year whisky, and Angel's Share Ramen with Hibiki 12 years whisky and fermented rice sake. The whisky is not overpowering in the ramen - of course if it was substantial it would push up the price! Just imagine.

A Lobster Kewpie Burger (affordable compared to some others in Melbourne) and Kakuni Pork Burger sliders are most welcome, as is Ken's Fried Chicken, Karaage PopCorn Chicken and the large number of other small dishes. The selection of 5 types of Gyoza dishes is also providing great choice for diners. Rice dishes hit the mark and rival the quality of the ramen dishes.

Ramen and craft beer goes well together. The wine list is limited but stick to the craft beer; both international and local.

Enjoy a modern playful vibe.

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