Big Noodle Energy
After spending nearly my entire summer in the Bondi bubble, at the end of the school holidays I decided to venture out into the great abyss in an attempt to broaden my cultural experiences. What better place to start, I thought, than RaRa Ramen in Randwick?
Ramen is a cool food to eat. People love it, and not the just the logically impaired who inexplicably choose to roll up pants which fit them just fine, attach keys to a belt loop right next to perfectly good pockets and carry large, empty tote bags with them wherever they go. Say what you want about these people, but they’ve got great taste in food, and I am eternally grateful that their endless stream of culinary-related Instagram stories led me to RaRa.
Located in the Newmarket precinct near the Prince of Wales Hospital, the bar serving authentic hand-crafted ramen is the second of two Sydney venues. Owners Katie Shortland and Scott Gault decided to open the second due to the immense popularity of their first venture in Redfern (we’re talking lines around the block) and I can only assume they selected the Randwick location to preserve the guttural alliteration.
As you enter the warmly lit bar a large neon sign reading ‘Big Noodle Energy’ sets the tone for the evening. It’s a group-friendly space with larger tables but there are some more intimate seating options at the bar and to the peripheries. There are also some tables outside, opposite Neuroscience Research Australia, which makes it great for picking up brain surgeons rather than the trust fund babies in white linen you’d usually be forced to choose from when dining near the beaches.
Alright, I’ve waffled on a bit and considering this is a food review I should probably talk a bit about the food. RaRa’s main attraction is their tonkotsu, made with a top-secret pork bone broth and served with chasu pork. The soup is topped with seasoned bamboo, creamy ajitsuke tamago (egg) and black fungus, and the pork belly is grilled over coals before serving so that it melts in your mouth.
If you’re after something a little bit different and are a fan of truffles, the chicken karaage mazesoba with truffle mayonnaise is a winner. Thick chewy noodles are tossed with shoyu tare and truffle oil and topped with crunchy juicy karaage, seaweed, housemade truffle mayonnaise, onsen egg, chopped red onion, corn and parmesan cheese.
An open kitchen lets you observe Executive Chef Terry Jeon’s big noodle energy up close and there is the noodle room where you can watch Jeon through large windows making fresh noodles daily. There is a real sense of theatre about the place, making it a great spot to enjoy a few drinks. A wrap-around bar serves a range of imported Japanese beers, natural wines and of course sake.
Warning: You’ll be doing a fair bit of slurping at RaRa, so don’t wear white linen.
Address 1/162-164 Barker Street, Randwick
Phone 9310 0932
Open Mon-Wed 11.30am-9.30pm, Thu-Fri 11.30am-10pm, Sat 12-10pm, Sun 12-8pm
Prices Tonkotsu $18.80, chicken karaage mazesoba with truffle mayo $19.50 400ml Asahi $12
Cards Master, Visa, Amex