Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen, Melbourne
I was a huge fan of Ikkoryu Fukuoka, and had been three times. But the third time I had such shitty service and the food was so average. I can’t recommend it any more these days. Legitimately the hardest ramen place name to remember, it had a bit of a buzz when it first opened. Another ramen competitor in Melbourne, handy location, who’s to complain?
The prices are a bit higher than the likes of Little Ramen or Hakata, however the pace is much less frantic, so that is a tradeoff. In a way the restaurant got much less busier the second and third time, it was like if people were starting to catch on. The ramen itself used to be quite spectacular. I remember fondly my first two visits. And how these ended up being so good I decided to take two sets of visitors along.
But on the third encounter we came across a manager in a very sour mood. He didn’t want to sit us in the (shoes off) booth area and then give some non-friendly responses to some of the group’s questions on the menu. Read: sarcasm. The final food product was satisfactory but I felt bad for taking them to a place where the service was so poor.
Setting aside the service experience, the food is fair. The last visit was the Black garlic tonkotsu ($17). I like the level of garlic but it doesn’t match up completely to my favourite issue back at Hakata Gensuke. Back in the day the issues DIY order slips so you could customise the ramen to your liking. But like the crowds, that also seems to have distinctly disappeared.
On lunchtimes Ikkoryu Fukuoka does get some lunch specials, so that makes the higher prices a little more palatable. But the last round left a sour taste for me, so I’ll probably be sticking to the more hectic options from now on.