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Downtown Ramen

Downtown Ramen
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Cost
R80 avg main meal
Ambience
Groups, Quick meals
Food
Asian, Japanese
Payment
Mastercard, Visa
Corkage
R40

Critic's review

Anelde Greeff

Food
This inner-city restaurant’s menu is small but to the point: the main event is four types of fragrant, flavourful bowls of ramen. The signature shoyu (a light broth with char sui pork belly, spring onion, nori, egg and chilli) is incredibly delicious, as is the kimiko (a clear broth with tofu and bok choy) and laksa (a spicy coconut broth with chicken and tofu). However, it’s the spicy miso broth that steals the show: melt-in-the-mouth slow-braised beef with Szechuan pepper, with all the normal trimmings, it’s so comforting and charming, you almost want to climb in the bowl. The only other thing on the menu is a (fantastically tasty) selection of bao – steamed buns exploding with fragrant fillings. There’s a pork belly, beef short rib and tofu option, but it’s the off-menu crispy chicken one that’s the must. “It’s like the best KFC you’ve ever had,” according to the chatty waiter.

Drinks
As with the food, the drinks options are limited – but more than sufficient. There are a handful of wines, sake, two beers and a few soft drinks.

Service
Super casual, but efficient.

Ambience
No fuss, no frills. Communal wooden benches, bar seating and basically no décor to speak of. But it suits the simple food, and makes the beautiful bowls shine.

And…
Really struggling to find something to eat or drink on the menu? If you ask nicely, you can order from sister/downstairs restaurant Lefty’s, which serves diner-style fare like burgers, ribs, and chicken and waffles.

(September 2016)

Eat Out critics dine anonymously and pay for their meals in full. Read our editorial policy here.

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User reviews

  • Small tucked away upstairs with great Japanese style decor. The pork belly ramen was brilliant. Steamed bun for starters was perfect. Definitely will go back!
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  • Terrible!! 3 of us ordered a take away on Wednesday and none of couldn't eat the ramen because it was so spices, it never said how hot it would be on the menu. I then opened the ramen the following morning to find it was bubbling! Surely it was not freshly made if by the next morning it was bubbeling?
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  • Hmm, wasn't so keen on a repeat visit, based on some of the reviews here, but so glad I did! The restaurant is bigger than when I first when, so easier to get a table (as you can't book). We started with a short rib bao and a crispy chicken bao - perfect bite to share between 3 of us. The crispy chicken wasn't on the menu (but a friend had alerted me to it) - they use the chicken from the chicken waffles at Lefty's in it, and is DELICIOUS! Could just have had another round of those for dinner. By the time we ordered main course, the miso beef ramen was sold out, which was disappointing. I was worried the laksa would be too hot, but our fantastic waitress brought me a little taster of the broth to test, and said she'd put the sambal oelek on the side, so we could adjust the heat. The dish was fantastic - soft, juicy chicken in a really comforting laksa base. Others had the pork belly ramen, which was less fatty looking than I remember, and got a rave review. Will definitely be back!
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Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Dinner
  • Food
  • Licensed
  • Serves food
  • Vegetarian

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