Ramen Lab (North Shore City, New Zealand)
It’s been six months since our Japan trip and I am so missing that beautiful country already, the places, the scenery, the people and the food, everything was perfect for us. It’s a dream destination that all we want is in one country. It will be hard to go back again, first I have to apply leave then I have to save some money, Japan is not a cheap destination but it’s all worth it.
Now to cure that “I miss that place syndrome” all we have to do is eat some authentic Japanese food in the form of ramen and there is no other place that offers this better than Ramen Lab here in the North Shore ——–. The dishes they make here is as authentic as it can be, the flavours are spot on even the ingredients are as comparable to the ones we tried in Japan.
They don’t have a complicated menu, most of what they offer is ramen plus some other Japanese side dishes, so it is not very stressful to choose what to eat. Having said that we tried three of their ramens and all of the were perfect to our palate.
First ramen the basic of them all, the Tonkotsu Ramen ($12.00) this is the baseline ramen, every good Japanese restaurant should be able to make this properly. This traditional Hakata style ramen is made with free range pork broth served with charsiu pork, cloud ear fungus, spring onion, garlic oil and red ginger. The cloudy broth means this stock is prepared correctly as those are made of collagen that is melted into the stock itself, yielding a rich pork flavour that turns into jelly when left cold.
Next ramen was this Tan Tan Ramen ($17.00) a richly flavoured ramen made with Pork Broth served with Ramen Lab’s Original spicy paste along with free range spicy pork mince, spinach, spring onion, dried chilli, bean sprouts and salad. Now if you think Tonkotsu Ramen is rich then you better try this one, it’s a heaven and earth comparison, combine that with a little zing this ramen is a what defines a Japanese comfort meal.
Now for the last ramen, it is quite unique on its own, like a deconstructed ramen where the noodles are served separated from its broth. Tonkotsu Gyokai Shoyu Tsukumen ($16.00), not ramen but tsukumen where it is served separately from its dipping sauce made with pork broth with fish stock soy sauce, served with charsiu pork, free range egg, spinach, bamboo shoots, seaweed and shredded spring onion. Another richly flavoured noodle dish.
We also ordered some sides, and you need to specially if you are a meat lover. Japanese ramen dishes might be flavourful but it won’t contain as much protein compared to Western dishes. Most ramens here in Ramen Lab or even in most places in Japan will contain only one or two thin slices of pork.
That means if you are used to having a larger portion of meats on your meals then I suggest get their chicken karaage made with lightly breaded free-range deep-fried chicken served with salad, mayo and lemon. Now what can go wrong with this its fried chicken.
Overall, we love our experience here, if I can remember this is the second Ramen restaurant here in Auckland that we tried that know how to make real ramen dishes. They made it exactly like the way they do it in Japan and trust my word on it as we have a first-hand experience on both. So, if you have tried the real Japanese ramen in Japan and is missing it like us then this is your best cure.
Address: r2/8 Huron St, Takapuna, Auckland 0622, New Zealand
Phone: +649 489 9902