Hakata-Maru Ramen, Haymarket

Market City holds a special place in my heart.

I used to go there weekly with my family for yum cha. As I grew older, I would come by weekly to play bumper cars and by older I mean the ripe old age of 21. Yes, a bunch of the guys and I would get together every Friday when we didn’t have classes and proceed to go at each other like wrecking balls.

Did I mention this was before I got my actual license? I would’ve been qualified to drive a plane, let alone a car, if you added up all the hours I spent driving around bumping unsuspecting teenagers on dates in my little bumper buggy.

Anywho, I might’ve visited Market City more than once a week if Hakata-Maru Ramen had been open prior to this year.

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Do you remember how a friend of mine claimed she had found a place that was better than Ippudo?

Hakata-Maru is the place she was referring to.

Hakata-Maru is one of the new ramen kids on the block having set up shop in Market City’s food court earlier in 2013. I arrived months after the initial food blogging hype (in pure iFat fashion) and was met with a half full food court in the midst of holiday season. Hakata-Maru offers a slightly thinner noodle variation accompanied by tonkotsu (pork) broth and a variety of side dishes that can be yours for $3 if you purchase a bowl of ramen.

Which is why I’m here.

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Remixes
Remixes

I did my research prior to my arrival and my heart (and stomach) was set on the Black variation as I’m a huge fan of garlic. Also, I’m very much single so I don’t have to be very considerate with how my mouth tastes.

Here it is:

Black tonkotsu ramen with garlic oil and flakes
Black tonkotsu ramen with garlic oil and flakes

First thing I did was sample the broth. It wasn’t as thick as Gumshara‘s offering but thick enough for you to know that it did its fair share of squats. It was incredibly tasty, rich and a great sign of things to come.

As mentioned earlier, the noodles are slightly thinner than your average but it didn’t really make much of a difference to me slurping away. I loved the slightly runny egg yolk and the accompanying mushrooms were a plus. I don’t have a point of comparison but the garlic dynamic made this an incredibly delicious bowl of ramen for me. The garlic flakes added another texture and flavour that was just what I wanted even if I didn’t know I wanted it beforehand.

There was one major negative and that was the lack of pork. There was only one tiny slice in my bowl and my meat cravings weren’t even close to being satisfied. There aren’t a tonne of noodles in the bowl but you can get a refill for an extra dollar which is pretty sweet.

Now for my side dish:

Chicken wings karaage with coleslaw
Chicken wings karaage with coleslaw

I’ve always loved chicken wings but my love for them grew exponentially after I discovered the right way to eat them (video HERE).

As I started to implement my finely honed wing de-boning techniques, I discovered that these wings only had the one bone! Hakata-Maru’s chefs had already done half the work for me and I love anyone who makes my life easier. These wings were as delicious as they were convenient. I’ve always been a big fan of karaage batter so seeing them used on my favourite part of the chicken made me all warm and fluffy on the inside. The meat was very succulent under the seasoned batter and they were a joy to demolish.

Close ups
Close ups

Here’s the TL; DR for everyone I forgot to wish a happy Festivus:

– I’m a bumper car bandit.

– Black is the new black

– De-bone wings properly. It’ll change your world.

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Hakata-Maru Ramen, Haymarket

9-13 Hay St, Haymarket, NSW 2000

Shop 3 Level 3 Market City

Open 7 days

From 10:30am ’til 8:00pm

Hakata-Maru Ramen on Urbanspoon

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