Sigh. Melbourne. Raining like almighty feck. Just another wintry day*. What could make the day better? Ramen. From a shop no bigger than a hole in the wall.
Menya is located en route to Melbourne Central train station and it’s really bloody small. A shame, given that it serves semi-decent ramen. It’s not really a sit-and-have-an-existential-crisis kind of joint, it’s more of a eat-and-fucking-get-out-you-decadent-Western-swine one. This isn’t actually a problem.
Like two stoned and/or drunk teenagers, guts ruled over the higher faculties. T and I sniggered like Beavis and Butthead and insisted that the gyoza pizza was mandatory. No, never mind that a bowl of ramen was on the way. We were intent on gorging like those wacky Romans (minus the bulimia and worms). Behold – it is a work of pure, meaty beauty.
Yes, yes, it’s not really a pizza. However, after sharing one of these bad boys, you won’t have a gyoza craving for a month at least. As far as gyoza go, these are really good. Beautiful, crispy dumpling skins as you can see, and a generous amount of meat filling them. I used to get told off for filling gyoza skins not even this generously when I worked as a Japanese restaurant waitress.
There was a bit of a wait for food and the idea was that the gyoza ‘pizza’ would be for starters. There wasn’t actually much time between that and the arrival of our chosen bowls of ramen.
I chose the pork ramen. Surprise, surprise. I was actually hit with a wave of existential nausea over the plethora of ramen choices, so went with a good old friend. Indeed, @cookinwithgoths might like to know that I am not one of those dickheads who doesn’t eat pork. Under the pretence of making my dinner healthier, I ordered it to be topped with menma. Actually, I lie: I love menma and don’t get many occasions to eat it.
The chashu was thickly sliced and generous in supply. This is ramen I’d return for.
T had the Menya ramen – kind of like an everything ramen: seafood and pork. The eggs looked like those I lust after on the ramen blogs I read, minus the soy-soaked tinge.
At Menya, you can choose what broth you want for most bowls, but I don’t believe that option was available for ours. Judging by the opaqueness of broth in the ramen we ordered, I’d say it was possibly a tonkotsu-type broth?
It’s still not quite as rad as Ramen Ya, but don’t rule it out. One of my fave cookie-foodies went on a ramen quest that makes my dinner look modest – check out Billy’s round-up of a day spent on finding Melbourne’s best ramen. These ramenhunters also note that Menya’s toppings are plentiful and it’s a good, cheap feed.
T also informs me he’s become an expert at slurping down a takeaway ramen as he travels home on the train. Alas, that is a skill I’ve yet to master.
*Melburnian winter reserves the right to make itself known outside the designated period known as ‘winter’ and will continue to do so until further notice. In the meantime, read your horoscope: it’s probably more useful than consulting a meteorologist.