Fukuryu Ramen | Sichuan House
Today we’ll explore two spots located along Corrs Lane in Chinatown.
22-26 Corrs Ln
Melbourne, VIC 3000
03 9090 7149
First up, let’s investigate a cheap ramen joint that has recently risen into wild popularity within a month of opening… thanks to Instagram and food blogs! At 6pm on a Saturday it was full house here… and by 6.30pm there was a queue of people spilling into the staircase ala Mamasita-stye!
At Fukuryu, they’ve taken a minimalist approach to the menu, dividing it into a short trilogies of traditional and modern ramen (all less than $10) alongside with a succinct menu of small eats. Place your order at the counter, take a number and then grab a tumbler of complimentary (still or sparkling) water for your table.
Chicken Karaage $5.90 (Fried chicken – Japanese style) | Tebasaki Chicken Wings $5.90 (Traditional and packed with flavour)
I visited this place with Ees, LittleDeath and Fatbee… we shared these little share plates of fried chicken as starters. It wasn’t all that outstanding and I thought the Tebasaki was actually a bit over-fried and dry. To put comparisons to the test, Mensousai Mugen’s tebasaki chicken wings were significantly nicer (albeit at a much higher price point).
We’ll now dive headlong into the main event – the ramen! When I ordered, the friendly girl at the counter even told me that they’d run out of tonkotsu broth during lunchtime and had to make more for dinner. That’s how popular this place is! I was pretty excited…
Dry Oil Ramen $8.90 (New item!!)
We’ll start off with something different, LittleDeath’s modern and dry version of ramen. He ate it quietly (so typical of him), but eventually commented that it was good. All that said, I can’t help but think that ramen without soup is a bit like a teacup without its saucer.
Soda Ramune $4.00 | Shoyu Ramen $9.90 (Tokyo Style!)
Fatbee and I agreed to share our bowls of shoyu and tonkotsu ramen so that we could have a taste of both versions. Here’s the traditional Tokyo-style shoyu ramen… where the soy-based broth reminded me a lot of broth that’s used in udon noodle soup.
The noodles were okay with a decent bite and I liked how the egg yolk was still runny. However, I found the shoyu broth rather salty and the piece of pork belly could’ve been more tender.
Signature Tonkotsu $9.90 (Thick & Creamy)
And here’s the reason why everyone’s clambering into this joint – Fukuryu’s signature tonkotsu ramen!
The broth was thick and very rich with a robust, cartilaginous porky flavour. Aside for it being a touch too porky for me, it was actually quite a good broth except that… once again, the salt levels were too high for my liking. Still, Fatbee devoured this bowl of noodles very quickly… so much for sharing our shoyu-tonkotsu bowls, ha ha!
We ended our meal with Fukuryu’s special treat of complimentary green tea soft serves to celebrate their recent opening.
I understand that ramen is generally a salty dish, but I tend to prefer places (such as Kokoro Ramen and Gumshara Ramen Sydney) which offers the option of having less salt in your broth. Fatbee and I had to tank up on tons of water when we reached home that evening. The noodles here were okay but I still prefer the texture of the housemade noodles served at Mensousai Mugen. Finally, I actually thought that the pork belly here was less fatty/succulent compared to other places.
Overall, my first visit here did not live up to the place’s overall hype and popularity. However, maybe its sudden rise into popularity has made the establishment struggle with huge customer loads. Also, it’s good to see Fukuryu Ramen actively listening to feedback via social media (they thanked me for my honest feedback) and I believe places with this level of openness will have the potential to improve. And if they do, I’ll let you know!
22-26 Corrs Ln
Melbourne, VIC 3000
03 9650 8598
Next we’ll explore Fukuryu’s next door neighbour. A hidden den of spicy Sichuan cuisine. I hear that Dainty Sichuan (now in Toorak) used to occupy this spot.
We dined here with Lorena and Jerri, big big foodie friends of Fatbee’s. I’d previously been to Sichuan House Seafood and quite enjoyed the food there, so I was pretty keen to explore other items on the menu over here. We gave Lorena full rein with the ordering, and this time she decided on trying new dishes rather than our old favourites.
Sichuan spicy mung bean jelly $6.00 | Spicy chicken fillet & wild mushrooms in mini wok $24.80
For entrees, first came a serve of soft jelly in a spicy sauce. It was delightful with lots of Sichuan peppercorn action. Next, we had deep fried chicken and mushrooms served on a raised tier. I found this dish too salty to be enjoyable, and the spice levels were mild.
Spicy dried tofu $9.80
Tofu seemed to be the theme for the day, and we started off with a spicy version of dried tofu. I didn’t mind this dish… but despite its red hot appearance, the spice levels were again pretty uneventful here.
Stir-fried spicy dried tofu and chives $19.80
Next came my favourite dish for the night, slices of dried tofu stir fried with chives. The dried red chillies in the dish were purely ornamental and this was pretty much a non-spicy dish, but it was delicious. I liked how the tofu had a firm and ‘meaty’ texture, the chives were yummy, and in the Sichuan scheme of things… this dish tasted rather ‘cleansing’.
Fish fragrant pork $20.80
Finally, instead of having our usual fish fragrant eggplant, we tried the pork version. It was like tender strips of pork in a hot and sour sauce flavoured with Chinese black vinegar. Being more vegetarian-oriented these days, I’d stick with the eggplant version next time.
It’s always risky ordering things that you’ve never tried before, but there were a couple of good dishes in tonight’s lineup and we still enjoyed this meal. All that said, the next time I dine Sichuan again, I’ll definitely be begging everyone to order a serve of Chonqing Chillie Chicken and Dry Fried String Beans with Spicy Minced Pork. Rawwwwr… I’m feeling hungry just typing that out..!