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April 30, 2015

Ramen review: Sushi Bar Genki

As the city descends into its annual period of around-the-clock ice rink temperatures, the idea of a hot, hearty meal is usually at the forefront of our lizard minds. Sushi Bar Genki's new ramen menu appeals directly to this compulsion.

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  • Words: Owen Lindsay
  • Pictures: Matt Stuckey

As with many things, in times of culinary necessity we turn to Japan to show us the way. And in the question of what to eat to ease the chill in our bones, Japan (as usual) has just the answer: ramen.


Find Sushi Bar Genki at 163 Gouger Street, Adelaide. It is open seven days a week from midday, and usually closes at 9.30pm except on Friday and Saturdays when it closes at 10pm.

It must be said that, outside of Japan, ramen is often a disappointing experience – the flavour can lack depth and subtlety, the noodles can be bloated, and don’t even get me started on what travesties the eggs are sometimes subjected to. Happily, though, the ramen at Sushi Bar Genki is a spot-on facsimile of the good stuff you find tucked in and around Tokyo.

We ducked in to Genki for lunch, and tried the shoyu (soy sauce broth – $11) and tonkotsu (pork bone broth – $13.80) ramens. Both bowls came with the standard ramen toppings floating on top: soft, fatty pork (chashu), nori dried seaweed, marinated egg, and all the other enigmatic regulars.

We were impressed by the richness of flavour of the soup, which – like good ramens should – originates from the stock and not from generous shakings of the MSG and salt canisters. It also held up admirably to the ‘glistening collagen levels test’ that should be applied very seriously to all bowls of ramen before eating. The enjoyable soup was well-complemented by the springy texture of the noodles, semi-boiled egg, and pork so tender that it made the trip down our gullets with barely a chew necessary.

In order to ensure quality-tasting ramen, Genki’s owner and head chef, Shozo Ikeda, has quite literally gone to ramen school in Japan, and uses a speciality machine to produce his own noodles in-house. In addition to the dishes we tried, there are also kimchi and vegetarian ramen options available, as well as an impressive roster of other familiar Japanese meals. And best of all, they’re all served steaming hot.

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