Ajisen Ramen (Melbourne CBD)

130 Bourke St
Melbourne VIC 3000
+61 3 9662 1100

I was *planning* to spend this weekend studying for exams but come Sunday evening and I realise that I’ve accomplished … nothing.

Things I’ve done instead of studying:
-Go on facebook
-Went on eBay
-Downloaded music
-Finished watching Educating Rita
-Watched World Cup 2006 replays, including that match against Uruguay from 2005
-Painted my nails
-Started reading a Sophie Kinsella chick-lit
-Kept up to date with the footy on afl.com.au (and yelled and screamed when both Carlton and Adelaide won which means that I will slip a few places down the ladder in my work tipping competition)
-Made a batch of ricotta, chive and cherry tomato tarts which I got the recipe off Kelly (who got the recipe from Not Quite Nigella). Sorry guys, no photos. They were gone just like that!
-Harassed my workmates on facebook chat
-Gone window-shopping at Shoppo (Adam bought two pairs of jeans, I bought nothing)

And of course, this list won’t be complete without a food review of some sort…

Ajisen Ramen. Yeah, it’s been a while since I’ve been to this rather busy ramen restaurant on Bourke St (sometime in 2007, I think) but we figured that a return visit was needed. Now, ramen in Melbourne isn’t all that great but out of all the places in the CBD, this one’s probably the most decent. That was my opinion in 2007. Yesterday’s visit, however, just left me out cold.

My gyoza ramen ($11). Okay, firstly, who the eff puts lettuce in their ramen? Secondly, the noodles tasted and felt a lot like those white Chinese dan-dan noodles. Thirdly, THERE WAS A BUCKETLOAD OF MSG IN THE SOUP! We all know that most ramen places in the city will put varying amounts of MSG in their ramen, including Ajisen Ramen, but I don’t recall ever tasting so much MSG in one bowl of ramen. Not good. Oh well, at least the gyoza were decent – and they didn’t fall apart too.

Adam’s tonkatsudon (crumbed pork + rice) (also $11). This was not a particularly strong dish – pretty much what one would get at any Japanese eatery – but I actually enjoyed it more than my ramen. At least it didn’t leave my throat feeling like sandpaper. Hmmph.

The total meal cost $25 (including green tea, at $1.50 each) but I got it down to $18.80 thanks to my entertainment book discount. We won’t be back.

Now, back to studying I go!

I eat too much.


  1. chaoness
    June 7, 2009

    that place is like overpriced glorified two minute noodles! I fucking hate random lettuce, why the fuck people put it in soup is beyond me.

  2. gns_moments
    June 7, 2009

    can u help me to determine what  msg taste like? i think it tastes like number  420 at $8.50 at dessert house but im not too surelol

  3. fipar20
    June 7, 2009

    Hmm…that tonkatsudon seems rather small and overly priced. And I agree with you that there aren’t many good ramen place around. =(

  4. icesabre
    June 7, 2009


  5. snake_shit
    June 7, 2009

    There’s supposedly a decent ramen place near Kenzan. Think it’s called Ramen-ya or somethin like that.

    June 8, 2009

    @gns_moments – Haha that’s a good one! I went to Dessert House a few years ago to have desserts rather than actual food. I ordered a pancake of some sort and my friend ordered a drink. Both were ewww.@snake_shit – Ahh yes, Ramen-Ya. Went there a few weeks ago. It was alright, if not a bit bland, but at least there was no MSG 🙂

  7. I_Luv_Cocacola
    June 8, 2009

    I was under the impression that msg doesnt have a decernable taste any different to salt. Doesnt it just chemically amplify tastes because of a reaction with tastebuds? Do you find it funny when people are convinced that they are allergic to msg, its like being allergic to salt, all in their head.Ramen are chinese noodles that were introduced to japan after ww2 and thus thats why they might be similar to noodles at chinese places.

    June 8, 2009

    @I_Luv_Cocacola – Tastewise, it’s not much different to salt. MSG, however, does cause a few people extreme discomfort once consumed which explains why they say that they are “allergic” to MSG. Nevertheless, it’s never good to have too much MSG and from a foodie perspective, the use of MSG is a sign of poor cooking so it’s really no wonder why people get pissy when they’ve tasted their food only to find that it’s loaded with MSG.As for the noodles themselves, I’m used to seeing those thick and wrinkled versions which probably explains why I was surprised that they looked odd though I now know that ramen noodles can come in all sorts of sizes and textures.

  9. […] I’ve been to quite a fair few ramen eateries around Melbourne. Ramen Ya, Don Too, Ito and Ajisen Ramen to name a few. But my hunt for Melbourne’s Best Ramen was never going to stop until I finally […]

  10. […] at the new Ajisen Ramen restaurant in Glen Waverley – and given how I reckon the city branch has gone to shite – I was sceptical to say the least. Another ramen place? And one that’s not even good to […]


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