Ramen Takara Ponsonby
Ramen seemed like just the ticket on a cold stormy Auckland night and the perfect comfort after risking life and limb driving through Ponsonby in torrential downpour. We are huge fans of Ramen Takara in Browns Bay so were keen to check out the Ponsonby branch.
It was a light, cheerful, fun contrast to the weather outside and as great a place for two friends catching up as it would be for a large group. Always nice to go somewhere in Cheap Eats budget with a fun atmosphere too.
We decided to share a bowl of Ramen (they are pretty big) so we had enough room to include a few other bits and pieces in our investigation. We went with the Tonkotsu Ramen ($14) loaded with chashu pork, noodles, bok choy, spring onions, kikurage mushrooms and an egg. The broth had just the umami we were looking for and the variety of ingredients contributed to that all-important textural variation required when conquering a large bowl of noodle soup.
In terms of smaller share-type plates, we went with the Tuna Avo ($10), the Pork Belly Spring Rolls ($10), the Steamed Gyoza ($9.50) and the Renkon Chips ($6) My favourite was the Tuna Avo with fresher than fresh raw tuna, avocado, seaweed, lettuce and julienned raw veggies all topped with Wasabi Soy Dressing. A dish like this shows how the quality of ingredients is always the most important element in good food. Everything was how it should be, bright and fresh and glistening. Simple but super tasty, with the ingredients as the star.
The Renkon Chips are always a nice alternative to potato. Lotus Root tastes great deep fried with salt – as do most things I’ve found! The Pork Belly Spring Rolls were delicious, packed with pork belly, shitake mushrooms and bamboo shoots and perfectly crunchy on the outside (without being challenging to teeth). The steamed dumplings were the only thing I probably wouldn’t order again. They sounded nice with a filling of chicken, prawn, coriander and cabbage but I think I prefer my Gyoza fried and should stick to Chinese dumplings if I’m looking for the steamed variety. Possibly just a personal preference.
I have been known to travel to Browns Bay for the delights of Ramen Takara and despite it taking me a year to get there, I’m so glad there’s a branch closer to home now.