The best Japanese ramen we have found in Australia is in Surfers Paradise…
Ever since our trip to Japan we've been searching all over Sydney for a ramen noodle soup as good as we found in Japan. And we reckon we found one, only it's in Surfers Paradise...
Tucked away in a tiny arcade dwarfed by cranes and construction, filled with fake tattoo parlours and tattoo removalists, Hakataya Noodle Shop serves the best ramen in we have had in Australia, by a long shot.
This is a pretty tall claim, but after eating here in December 2008 and again in February 2010, it has only gotten better. The noodles have the right toothsomeness, the pork broth has the perfect balance of salty and sweet while not too thick and overpowerful and the pork slices are just like Tokyo. It is perfection. They also serve a spicy version (below) but we prefer the original.
If you finish your noodles but have soup left you can get a free top up of noodles, or you can buy them by the takeaway cup for 50 cents! We would have loved a half of a super soft boiled egg as an extra but you can’t have everything.
The best ramen we found in Japan were from little 'hole in the wall' joints that do nothing but noodle soups. And Hakataya Noodle Shop is exactly that. There's only two types of ramen, rice cooked in pork soup broth and gyoza on the menu. That's it. That's what makes it so great. They concentrate on the best of their menu and do it all well.
You’re greeted by the wait staff and chef with a cheery high pitched 'suimasen' just like in Japan, which always sends a shiver of joy through the asia-philes heart. The Gold Coast can boast many attractions, but this is one on the list now for every visit.
Hakataya Noodle Shop is in Shop 26 Centre Arcade, 31331 Surfers Paradise Blvd, Surfers Paradise. Get in quick because the cranes are looming, the days on the classic old arcade must be numbered. And get into Southport for some bloody great Korean, these Queenslanders just don't know what they've got :-)