"A table for one," I said.
(You heard me right) The day that A Table For Two dine alone is finally happening sooner than I anticipated. Disaster! However, the opportunity of getting hold of a table at Ichi-ban Boshi makes eating by myself perhaps is not such a bad thing after all.
This ramen noodle place is always so busy and packed. I have been here numerous times but no luck, always turned away after seeing the big crowd waiting outside. The trick is to show up before 11.30am to beat the rush hour hungry eaters.
I have had some of the best ramen while I was in Japan especially the one in the Ramen Museum. Since then I've been always on the hunt for another good bowl of sweet broth, fatty pork slices and slippery slurpey noodle as good as those in Japan (Ryo's in Crows Nest comes pretty close). Since I have heard nothing but highest praise for their delicious ramen here at Ichi-ban Boshi; so I am ready to find out what the fuss is about.
Apart from the ramen, another thing I want to try here is the iced green tea cappuccino which doesn't really make sense since there is no coffee involved. The "cappuccino" consists of equal portion of warm milk and matcha, topped with ice cubes, a perfect cloud of froth, and a jug of sugar syrup for extra sweetness. It is a milky creamy green tea drink which is refreshing and love the strong flavour of matcha. It is definitely "Japanese" written all over it.
Gyoza is Ramen's best friend. These home made potstickers are one of the best I've had in town. Five piping hot gyoza are pan-fried until crisp on one side and softly steamed on the other. I am impressed with the dumpling skin is thin and non stodgy; and the pork mince inside is surprisingly light and tender. Well, I do have a soft spot for good dumplings.
All going so well except the ramen which is rather a disappointment. I opt for the Tantanmen, ramen topped with a generous portion of minced pork, boiled egg and choy sum vegetables in hot and spicy soup. I found the ramen is rather overcooked, and the soup is not as spicy as I would have hoped for. But the worse thing is it has this weird after taste that lingers in the mouth which is rather unpleasant. (On their website, you can ask the waitress for extra spicy) This is the first time I couldn't finish my bowl of ramen and I left a few mouthful behind. Shame...
A recent conversation with the hungry digital elf and he told me that his friend has confirmed the Ichi-ban Boshi in Bondi is actually taste better than the one in the city. They are Japanese, I trust their words; which means there is only one way to find out...
Ichi-Ban Boshi Level 2 (Next to Kinokuniya Bookstore)
Galeries Victoria Building,
500 George Street, Sydney.
p: 02 9262 7677
w: www.ichibanboshi.com.au Opening Hours: Everyday 11am - 9pm