I’ve had friends guiltily admit that they’ve been to Ramen Kan without me, and it’s true, it does feel like a social no-no to go there without asking every single Japanese-loving pal you have for a cheap and cheery night out. The first time we went was to the super-popular Ramen Kan in Haymarket, which involved waiting in a mosh-like queue in a passageway the size of a straw. It was worth it though, when we tucked into the Yakisoba with Vegetables and Green Tea Ice Cream afterwards. The massive and uncomfortable wait did put me off going there again for a while, so when we zipped by Bondi Junction recently and the joint was empty (it was 3pm), I was happy to give its eastside equivalent a try.
If only I was as super-hungry enough to have taken more advantage of the menu. I like that they offer smaller versions of some of their noodle dishes (which maximises your multi-dish-downing potential, as well as catering for those not-as-famished spells we go through). Japanese food can be notoriously vegetarian-unfriendly but there were quite a few options on offer. I swayed between loading up on Teriyaki Tofu with Miso Soup ($8.50) and Tofu Salad with Sesame Dressing ($4.90) but in the end I opted for the Stirfried Vegies and Tofu with Rice ($8.90). It’s not the most dramatic of choices, but the peppery flash of the hot crisp vegies did the job.
I read a few reviews on Eatability bagging the place for its toilets and apparently dodgy plates and crockery. My visit was pretty much problem-free but I can’t definitively say that those aforementioned things aren’t issues, being not that regular of a visitor. (Someone also claimed it was a cheaper version of Wagamama, which is perhaps quite an insult, given how blandsville that overpriced Japanese chain is.) I’d definitely like to go back to Ramen Kan to see how the other menu items rate and whether it is truly not-so-flash as some diners have suggested. I’m always a doormat for budget-friendly, good Japanese, and so far, it’s a place I’ve got on my “return to” list.
Ramen Kan, Shop 3, Bronte Rd (cnr Bronte & Ebley Sts), Bondi Junction NSW, (02) 9387 5691