Joburg's newest dark kitchen dishes up delectable ramen
Hilary Biller and Sbu Mkwanazi discover happiness in a bowl courtesy of The Lucky Peach House of Ramen
Ramen is a hot topic this winter. It’s both the name of a type of Japanese noodle, and the trendy dish this ingredient stars in — a steaming bowlful of meat, chicken or vegetable broth that’s infused with soy sauce and miso.
Along with noodles, flavourful ingredients like seaweed and vegetables are submerged in the nutritious broth, which is often topped with peeled hard-boiled egg halves.
Slurping is not only encouraged, it’s a must, say the team from The Lucky Peach House of Ramen, a new dark kitchen delivery service from the Arbour Café in Birdhaven, Johannesburg.
They gave our food editor, Hilary Biller, and freelance food writer, Sbu Mkwanazi, the chance to sample their East Asian fare.
Here’s what the pair thought of their meals:
Ramen is the perfect antidote to any chilly evening, and when it’s made by someone who knows their oats when it comes to East Asian cooking, and is delivered to your door, it’s irresistible.
The Spicy Beef Miso Ramen, R100, was akin to a still-life painting: a bundle of Ramen noodles floated abundantly in the delicious broth, to one side the yellow-and-white of a pair of hard-boiled egg halves. To the other, flakes of chilli, green flecks of finely sliced spring onion and a neat stack of slices of beef. What’s not to like?
Toppings for the vegetarian Shoyu Miso and Tofu Ramen, R85, included corn kernels, strips of seaweed and a mix of mushrooms. The dish was crammed full of tofu, which like a sponge has soaked up all the lovely flavours in the broth. Enriched with warming ginger — and lots of it — this broth was richly flavoured but not quite as abundantly so as the beef version.
Go directly to the beef ramen. Do not pass the chicken ramen without devouring it. Do not collect, as they deliver too.
Just like in the board game Monopoly, you have to be single-minded when it comes to eating ramen. Go for the best. The Lucky Peach House of Ramen is one piece of real estate whose wares you want to possess.
The broths are where the real flavour in ramen resides and chef Josh Simon cooks his for two days, ensuring that your soul can feel the umami in them.
The Spicy Beef Miso Ramen is a flavour-packed and utterly delicious option that'll leave you wanting to slurp more and more of it in between licking your lips. Along with locally-grown mushrooms and baby spinach, a generous amount of fresh chilli, seaweed, and spicy miso mean that you hit the jackpot with every single bite.
The Shoyu Chicken Ramen, R95, is no run-of-the-mill chicken noodle soup. Featuring slow roast pulled chicken, sweetcorn, carrots, spring onion and silky hard-boiled egg halves, it’ll both feed and warm you up like only ramen can.
• To order, visit The Lucky Peach House of Ramen’s Facebook page.