Stumbled upon this small ramen place when it first opened. Without knowing its popularity in Japan and South Korea, I fell in love with Menya Sandaime’s yummy noodles and delicious broth. And it opens 24 hours!
Guess I was lucky to stumble upon this popular place before anyone else because then I didn’t have to deal with long queue, worry about quality service or long wait for the food. These days it isn’t that easy getting a seat without 3o minutes wait.
Though Menya Sandaime is a great addition to Melbourne’s late night eats, I have never actually dined in during late hours as the restaurant is always packed. Had to give up and find another place in the area (often times, Minh Xuong or China Bar, which is a real pity) because the queue and wait time is way too long.
Their ramen quality is beyond my imagination. I am very picky when it comes to ramen. So far I haven’t found a restaurant in Melbourne that could beat the taste of my favourite hidden ramen place in Singapore, which was ranked as the Best 10 Ramen restaurants in Singapore in 2008 along with big names such as Ippudo. Imagine how heart-broken I was to find out the family business decided to shut down.
Menya Sandaime might be the answer to my prayer! I always love good homemade food and Menya Sandaime offers just that. Ordered their signature Tonkotsu Ramen ($11.80) and it strangely reminds me of mum’s homemade food and family dinners.
The broth is thick, the tender yet crispy pork is flavourful and it melts in my mouth, and the noodles? It tastes very familiar and reminds me of home. May be it’s just me, but I feel what makes it very nostalgic and homey is that because I could almost feel the effort put in, figure the natural ingredients used, and guess the order the food were made and plated. Like most homemade food, their ramen is simple and humble.
The atmosphere and ambience of the place would make you feel you’ve been transported to Japan ramen house. With excellent service and friendly staff, J-pop songs in the background, displays of Gundam and other Japanese pop culture, Japanese words (well, I’m guessing it’s the menu) decorating the wall, and the open kitchen concept; you are sure to undergo an authentic Japanese dining experience.
If I had any complaints at all, it’d be about the portion. It could be filling when served with Gyoza no doubt, but not so much on its own. Nevertheless, it’s fairly priced – more affordable than most of its competitors such as Hakata Gensuke, which is located only a few blocks away, Menya Sandaime is still a good value for money.
So.. What do you think? Does Menya Sandaime sounds like something you’d love to try? Let me know your experience if you have been there, too. And if you like the review, pin it below.
Food: 3.5 out of 5
Service: 3.5 out of 5
Value: 3.5 out of 5
Ambience: 3.5 out of 5
Overall score: 3.5 out of 5
Address: 225 Russell Street, Melbourne
Contact: +61 3 9654 0989
Opening Hours: 24 hours daily
Eat like a local, city walkers!