Located on Victoria Street in Richmond, in a usually Vietnamese cuisine oriented spot, I was fortunate enough to be invited here by the owner of Shizuku to try their ramen or ramen burger. Since I am a lover of ramen I couldn't turn the offer down.
Shizuku is a modern Japanese restaurant that offers a range of tapas style starters, as well as ramen (with two ramen burger options). The fit-out is unique and contemporary, with nice use of lights and speaker system. Seeing the large menu on offer, with a lot of the dishes appealing I got D, K and R to join me so I could try more.
For starters we got the the gyoza platter, shizuku spring rolls and the soft shell crab tempura to share.
The gyoza platter had an assortment of 4 styles; classic (pan fried, with a vinegar dressing), kenji (pan fried with char siu and a BBQ sauce on top), cali (pan fried with a kewpie mayo sauce) and sui (boiled, with sesame vinegar). If you are coming with friends and want to try more than one flavour, this is a good dish to share. I found the gyoza with the kewpie mayo to be my favourite out of the lot.
Shizuku spring rolls was something I looked over in the menu but later we were advised by our waiter it was something to try. It was a very interesting concept, it was stuffed with cheese and edamame, served with saffron and sweet chilli sauce. This took me by surprise because worked really well together.
The soft shell crab tempura was the standard deed fried crab seasoned with salt, pepper and shichimi. The crab had a lovely crisp coat of tempura with a very strong seasoning finish, definitely for someone who likes their food salty.
For mains D got the ramen burger; this choice was as much for novelty as it's not something you come across often (especially when the many ramen options sounded tempting). It was served with 2 ramen noodle patties holding together lettuce and miso eggplant. The ramen was crisp and the miso eggplant had a silky finish. It is not easy to eat as the burger just falls apart. If I had to be critical, it came quite poorly presented and wrapped up.
R got the signiture tan tan men. Rich soup base with mince pork and chewy noodles. The best ramen out of the 3 we tried.
K got shoyu ramen. We were advised that the soy soup base was home brewed. It came with the usual char siu and bamboo shoot combo. K will have more details about this one on her blog, once she gets around to writing the review up. This soup base was more delicate compared to the others.
I got the Hokkaido miso ramen. This was packed with char siu, corn, butter, sprouts and egg. This is not for the faint-hearted. The soup base was a salty mixture of red and white miso. I would not recommend this it you prefer a lighter taste. This packed a salty punch from the miso and is reminiscent of the ramens you get in Japan.
After all the mains, we were so full and all on the verge of a food coma, so for dessert we just opted for something small. We tried the miso caramel ice cream and was quite pleased with it. The miso caramel worked well together and the sesame gave it that extra element.
Overall 14.5/20 I really liked the concept of their tapas and innovative side of their menu. Ramen is slightly pricier than other places around Melbourne, but worth trying (especially the signature ramen). The staff were friendly and welcoming, make a good place for a catch up with friends in winter.