You should all know by now how I feel about ramen. I crave it non-stop and seek the best out in countries all over the world.
One of my fave spots for ramen in Queensland is Ramen Danbo on the Gold Coast in Southport. Well, they have also opened up an outlet in Surfers Paradise!
After a very long day on the Gold Coast, I was ready for some comfort eating before my drive back to Brisbane. I’d been up early to judge the Fit Bikini Model Extravaganza and couldn’t wait to find the new Ramen Danbo in Surfers. Luckily for me, there was a park right outside. Must have been those ramen Gods looking out for me.
I ordered the nitamago ramen which is the classic ramen with extra “nitamago” or soft boiled eggs. What I love about Ramen Danbo is that you can customise your ramen right down to the your noodle firmness, the richness of the soup and the spiciness.
Heads up, the team told me that the best way (how the Japanese do it) is firm noodles, a lot of richness and as much spice as you like, however a little, is more advised than none. So that’s what I go for every time.
I was sooo excited when the ramen came out that I’m impressed I even took the time to take photos! Steaming bowl of happiness. Delicious broth, firm noodles, generous pork servings and soft boiled eggs – which are one of the best parts.
I’ll be back again to one of their locations on my next trip to the Gold Coast!
Guys! I found true, authentic Japanese ramen on the Gold Coast! Yasssssss!
‘Irasshaimase!’Although food is usually my first note, when you enter Ramen Danbo, there is a distinct atmosphere and energy. The staff are all ready and excited and happy to see you.
Your first mission, and I call it a mission for a reason, is to choose your ramen. Now, if you’re like me, this is a massive mission because I want to try every flavour!! I am always torn between a traditional tonkontsu and trying something a little different. Kim and I eventually decided on sharing our ramen (because we are greedy and wanted to try both) and a side of bite-sized gyoza each (see greedy, above) and a Kirin beer. Can’t beat a Kirin on a hot day and the Gold Coast was certainly turning it on!
What’s a little different here was that you were able to customise your ramen right down to the your noodle firmness, the richness of the soup and the spiciness. And of course there’s the extra sides but you can choose extra house braised pork belly (chashuu-men) or rekka ramen option which loosely translates as inferno – yummm. We were given a heads up by the team that the best way (how the Japanese do it) is firm noodles, a lot of richness and as much spice as you like, however a little, is more advised than none. We stuck by this advice and it definitely paid off.
We chose a booth to sit in but I would go for the bar next time, I enjoy watching the Chef’s do their thing. Kim’s choice was the nitamago ramen which is the classic ramen but with the rekka option and extra “nitamago” or soft boiled eggs. I chose the negi-goma ramen with freshly sliced spring onions and toasted sesame (apparently a Japanese favourite) with the rekka option and nitamago soft boiled eggs as an addition. I love those eggs – ramen just isn’t the same without it.
The ramen came out first – they were quick! We tried each other’s and decided we preferred our own (that worked out well) but agreed they were both delicious. Mine was slightly more spicy and rich than Kim’s, absolutely delicious. The difference is the ramen is truely authentic. Imported Japanese ingredients and all. Some of the staff have even come from the Ramen Danbo group in Japan! No wonder it’s so good.
Gyoza followed quickly afterwards, they’re special ‘Hakata’ gyoza, big enough to devour in just one bite! Hand made, delightful little parcels of happiness! If you read my blog, you know my obsession with anything from the dumpling family. These little babies are flavoursome and even more so when you add the green paste to them that comes on the side! It’s made up of Japanese lime, green chilli and pepper. You eat it the same way you would wasabi, either mixed in with the gyoza sauce or dabbed on before you dip. It’s quite a unique flavour and I bet you will wish all places served it up after you’ve tried it.
The restaurant in Southport was pumping. There were lots of customers coming through and many were Japanese (always a good sign). Although, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Ramen Danbo is such a success if you know the history. The original Ramen Danbo opened its doors in 2000 with a simple mission – to deliver a tonkotsu ramen with top quality and flavour, with strict consistency. After placing number one in a TV poll of the top ramen shops in Fukuoka, the brand expanded quickly all through Japan. We are pretty lucky to have it right here on the Gold Coast!!
If you’re from Brisbane and a fan of Taro’s ramen, this is a must try. I will be there again soon to try the classic tonkontsu option! And the gyoza… rude not to.
**Although this meal was complimentary, this review is authentic and true. I can’t wait to go back and eat more – I will try the classic next time. Plus it’s a great excuse to hit the beach too!
Seeing as our last trip together was Mexico, it was only right that Lauren, Nikita & I went to a Mexican joint for dinner.
Lauren chose Bonita Bonita in Mermaid for dinner and her boyfriend, Ben joined us.
We started with pea guac and corn chips. How the hell does a Mexican place run out of avocado? Makes no sense. Pea guac was average – skip it. We had ocean trout ceviche was was really nice with a citrus and coconut cream sauce and some super deep fried corn chips.
Nikita and I both started with Wet Pussys. Calm yourself, it’s a cocktail. And a beautiful cocktail at that. Coco tequila and who really cares what else – it was lovely and refreshing.
I ordered two tacos – one too many. At 9.50$ each they’re expensive in taco dollars but they are huge. I had the snapper and pulled pork. I was disappointed the snapper was deep fried and not grilled. It was still nice but not what I expected. The pulled pork had some crunchy crackling on top and was nice. I wouldn’t say either was amazing and they weren’t served with lemon or lime. Neither was my beer – I had two Sol beers and each time I had to ask for a lime. They knew what I was going to say.
Our waitress was not clued in on what was going on. She seemed endlessly confused. Thankfully we all received what we ordered.
Would I go back? Only for the ceviche. There’s a cool atmosphere and I’d like to try the bar next door (Bon Bon?) for more cocktails but there wasn’t anything above good or average. After work drinks and a snack perhaps. It has the potential to be a lot better.
I FINALLY convinced my family to come visit me from New Zealand! And by family, I mean my brother Luke and his friend Sam. The rest are still on the roster.
Luke and Sam arrived early Friday morning and flew out Monday afternoon. A short but fun filled visit. How fun filled you ask? Here’s their itinerary…
Fly in, home to change and eat, dropped to city
Train home, nap
Dinner party then out
Visit Fridays, Black Bird, Laruche, The Met & Cloudlands
Straight to Gold Coast
Movie World adventures
Home to Lauren’s to change for half an hour
Draculas Cabaret show
Out to the Casino
Drive around Surfers night life
Say goodbye to Lauren
Harbour Town outlet shopping
Surfers Paradise tourist sightseeing & lunch
JB HI FI to buy a MacBook air
Drive back to Brisbane
Sit down for an hour
Groove Train in the city for dessert
Black Bird for drinks
South Bank for sushi and a look around
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Mt Cootha look out
DFO outlet shopping
Airport at 3pm ready for flight back to NZ!
The boys were so tired they were falling asleep in the car! I wore them out but they saw the best of Brisbane and I hope they will be back, I had the best time playing your guide and hanging out with them.
Can you guess from the pictures which one is my brother?
Another massive weekend down, it’s times like this I really appreciate my bed and beautiful new cushions to snuggle up to.
Friday I had my work do. I had a blast! I work with an amazing group of people and we partied the night away. I think everyone else had a great time too which is lucky as I organized it.
Saturday I woke up at the break of dawn – I can’t seem to sleep in anymore. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m back in QLD where it’s hot and sunny or if it’s because I’m getting old? Anyway I wasn’t particularly happy about after only going to bed at 2am the night before.
I encouraged Jay to come over and take me for brunch, we found a great place in Hawthorn and I’m sure if there was a game called ‘spot the hungover idiots’ everyone at the venue would have been a winner. We were giggling and drinking water like there was no tomorrow then all but fell asleep at the table waiting for our meals!
Back at home I tried to nap but had no luck before my lovely friend, Lauren, arrived for the weekend.
I took her to my fave sushi shop, kotobuki for lunch then a drive around Brisbane, stopping at South Bank for a wander. I forget how beautiful it is down there. I also forget how many people there are visiting on the weekend and how crap parking can be.
We met our school friend Trish at hers and the girls had some drinks. We wanted to check out Jamie Oliver’s new restaurant, Jamie’s Italian, which had recently opened in Brisbane city. Long story short is – we did, it was pretty good and then we got evacuated. Smoke, sirens, fire trucks, the lot. It was rather amusing.
The girls wanted some drinks so we kicked on to Black Bird & Alfred & Constance then McDonalds. I was exhausted and couldn’t wait to hit the sack as I knew we were getting up early for yoga at Limes.
7.30am we were up and off to a friend of Lauren’s in Kangaroo Point for fruit on the balcony. Yoga at Limes Hotel was lovely, we practiced in the rooftop then joined the girls for a coffee next door.
We went to Raw Paw Paw for lunch where I was quite disappointed to be honest. I was supposed to have a Sunday session afterwards with Jay but I was exhausted and cancelled.
My friend Kim called to say our friend Sophie had a little accident in Noosa and a ride in the ambulance after spraining a ligament so I went over and cooked them both dinner.
Sleep time! Night y’all!
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