I found myself in possession of a lot of conflicting advice about where does the best ramen in Auckland. This was hardly surprising as ramen is often a source of considerable debate. I eventually settled upon giving Ramen Lab a look not least because it meant I had to head somewhere fresh in the city, over to the north shore and Takapuna.
This suburb looks to have a thriving cafe and informal restaurant scene. I noted a good looking Vietnamese place and a couple of dumpling places as well as some smart cafes on my brief wander around the neighbourhood.
Ramen Lab doesn’t look like much but that’s often the way with ramen joints with Melbourne’s Mr Ramen San a good example.
I was prompt in my arrival so found the place quite quiet but by the time I left it had filled up almost to capacity.
While I generally keep it classic with tonkotsu ramen, I’d been advised that the dish to order here was the tantan ramen. This featured marinated pork mince and a broth thickened with their own house-made paste. I was intrigued so gave it a go. With the addition of a bottle of Karma Cola, the bill came to $21.50.
A massive steaming bowl soon arrived smelling of all the good things. The marinated pork mince was extremely good with the noodles as good as ever.
The extraordinary thing was the broth, though. It was like umami incarnate with a flavourful pork broth given almost limitless depth from an incredible cocoction with sesame at its heart. This gave the soup an almost peanut butter-like quality. It was absolutely splendid.
So overall, I’m not sure whether there are other good ramen purveyors in the city – from the range of recommendations I had, I suspect there are – but Ramen Lab was totally outstanding. I liked venturing out to Takapuna and would suggest you do likewise next time you’re in town.
Address: r2/8 Huron Street, Takapuna, Auckland 0622