Ramen at Ume Hana

398 Elizabeth St, Melbourne
Phone: 9663 1108

It’s been a while ramen fans, but the hunt is on again!  This time I headed to Ume Hana, because I had to swap over my Sennheiser iPhone headphones for the FOURTH time in a year… seriously, the sound quality on those things is awesome, but they break so easily. Thankfully there’s a two year warranty, so I can just swap them over when (not if) they go bung.

Anyway, Ume Hana is a pretty pedestrian feeling Japanese/Korean restaurant. It feels more like a cafe (which the place used to be) than a restaurant, actually. But this incongruous setting it totally countered by the fact the owners are actually Japanese, and if you drop in after the lunch-time rush, they’re all sitting around having their staff lunch, and the owner will actually serve you while everyone else continues eating. Sweet!

I decided to go for the Karaage ramen, because I wasn’t in the mood for seafood, and well, fried chicken. ‘Nuff said.

I was impressed when it came out, but unfortunately the first impression wasn’t followed up by the subsequent tasting.
The broth, a shoyu (soy) base, was flavourful, but I would characterise it as more salty than tasty. It was pretty one dimensional. The all important ramen noodles were rather soft – I would hazard a guess that they had been sitting in the piping hot broth waiting while the chicken was being fried. Sitting there too long. As for the toppings, the fried chicken was good, and the inclusion of a poached egg as opposed to a boiled egg was interesting, but looked like it was poached in a microwave. The yolk was cooked to a nice softness, however.

All in all, the ramen was on the poor to mediocre end of the scale.

Broth 2/5
Noodles 2/5
Toppings 3/5
Total 7/15

To see where it sits in the rankings, see my original ramen hunt post.

Ume Hana on Urbanspoon