I haven’t been doing many restaurant reviews lately and if I’m being honest, it’s because I’ve been really lazy with taking photos and write ups. But if there’s one thing that’s worth writing about it’s ramen- so when our latest ramen cravings kicked in and brought us to Yasaka Ramen, I made sure I lugged that camera along with me!
We’re spoilt for choice with ramen restaurants in Sydney, but we particularly like Yasaka for having a quite extensive menu with a little bit of everything to compliment your ramen. There’s a surprisingly good selection of sides for a ramen shop, but if there’s one thing that really gets us excited, it’s the karaage. The menu offers the original karaage, which is your typical Japanese style fried chicken- but if you’re looking for something a little more exciting, you can also get it topped with sauces for about a dollar extra. They even do a karaage platter!
We went with the most unusual sounding one- Negi Ponzu Miso, which is a mix of spring onion, ponzu sauce and mayonnaise. It’s not quite as exciting as it sounds- just a drizzle of lightly flavoured mayonnaise and a sprinkle of spring onion on the karaage but tastewise, it works and is quite a nice and different way of having karaage.
And because we got the smaller serve for the karaage, we had some stomach space left for takoyaki. Like the karaage, there’s the option to have you takoyaki with a variety of sauces, but we’re feeling less adventurous with the takoyaki so we stick with the original flavour which comes with the usual takoyaki sauce. The takoyaki balls are nice and soft with a good ratio of filling to batter, although we did wish it had a little more sauce as topping. It doesn’t quite compare to the takoyaki we’ve tried in Japan, which are a little tastier and creamier inside, but it doesn’t disappoint.
The ramen is what we’re really here for, and there’s so many different options on the menu we’re planning multiple visits back to try the ones we want to try. But to start off with, we went for the Yasaka ramen which is the very basic ramen with two slices chashu- afterall, you can’t go wrong ordering a dish with the restaurant’s name in it right?
The tonkotsu broth is of the thicker variety, almost as thick as that of Gumshara. I’m not a huge fan of thick broths as I find them a little too sticky for my liking, but this one was a texture I didn’t mind. Tastewise, it’s as flavoursome as it looks, with a strong pork flavour- it’s not the most amazing ramen you’ll ever have, but it’s a solid broth I wouldn’t mind having again and again.
The tsukemen is a sasonal menu item- I’m not sure when exactly it’s available but it was available when I visited….which is all that really mattered!
The black garlic broth is just as thick as the Yasaka ramen broth, and I find that it’s a thickenss that works well with tsukemen as it sticks well to the noodles when you dip them in. There’s a very strong garlic taste to the broth, being black garlic and all- maybe not one for those who aren’t big on garlic but it’s incredibly addictive for garlic lovers like me.
We had our eyes on a couple more of the ramen, but unfortunately our stomachs are only so big- guess we’ll have to wait til next time!