Momotaro Rahmen is a small Japanese noodle bar on Bridge Road that is well known by the Richmond locals for serving up cheap, tasty and massive bowls of ramen. The cafe is not terribly big and I’m told it suffers from overcrowding at the peak dining periods but luckily, as a MOLWL (mummy of leisure who lunches) I have always managed to get there very late in the afternoon of a week day and never had trouble trying to fit a pram in there. The staff had also been very lovely at accomodating Mini Me.
I have already made a few visits to Momotaro Rahmen who, judging by their logo, seemed to be named after the famous Japanese folklore about a baby boy who was found floating down a river in a giant peach (and you thought Roald Dahl was being original when he wrote James and the Giant Peach) and kept going back for its serves of satisfying bowls of tonkotsu broth and their homemade noodles.
(Ramen with tonkotsu broth – a milky white broth made from pork bones – $13?)
Momotaro Rahmen’s menu consists of largely of ramen and a few Japanese favourites such as Japanese curries, teriyaki and salads. Momotaro offers their ramen in five different broths – shoyu (Japanese soy sauce), miso, shio (salt), tonkotsu (pork bones) and vegetarian with various selection of toppings such as vegetables, chashu (roast pork), boiled egg and seafood. But what is really special about Momotaro Rahmen is that they have a dedicated vegetarian menu and serve their ramen in vegetable broth when requested. Now we know how rare this is for Japanese cuisine where almost everything contains dashi, a stock made from dried fish and seaweed. This makes my vego friends very happy indeed.
(Vegetable ramen – $12?)
On this occasion, I arrived at Momotaro with Mini Me in tow to meet with my friend, Nat who I have previously introduced to Momotaro and has become a regular.
Nat orders her usual of vegetable ramen – I had a taste of the broth. It was lovely enough as far as a vegetarian broth goes. But let’s face it – if the folks at the Momofuku lab can’t make a great vegetarian broth, I can’t really expect it to be as good as my order of tonkotsu broth.
(The bowl is bigger than the baby! Okay, not really.)
Momotaro Rahmen’s rendition of this famous Japanese porky broth is rather light compared to the usual thick, gelatinious version served up everywhere in Japan. Which, to be perfectly honest, is just as well since the bowl is so eye poppingly big (and I am from the ‘you must finish the broth’ school). It comes with a large slice of roast pork which I found to have improved since my last visit (I didn’t like it very much the first few visits), half a boiled egg and lots of vegetables. The whole dish felt very healthy and rather light. Yes you will be rather full but it’s not that terrible sick feeling that you get after a very large bowl of traditional tonkotsu ramen. That’s not to say I don’t love the traditional tonkotsu ramen. I really do but I appreciate Momotaro Rahmen’s version despite its lack of traditional tonkotsu characteristics.
(Vegetarian gyoza – with a mixture of chick pea, cabbage, spinach, etc. – $7?)
The vegetarian gyoza on the other hand was just disappointing. The filling combo just simply didn’t work and neither of us enjoyed it. I think it’s safe to say no chick pea belongs in a gyoza.
Having visited Momotaro a few times, I have tried their miso and shoyu broths as well as curry and teriyaki. I have to say I have exceeding preference for their tonkotsu ramen and will happily go back for my ramen fill there. It is a nice little place for a hearty, healty large bowl of soups, if nothing else.
And let’s face it, if it’s noodle and it’s in a decent broth? I’m there.
Address: 392 Bridge Rd Richmond VIC 3121 [ Google Map ]
Phone: (03) 9421 1661