Australia’s First Ramen Vending Machine Restaurant Has Opened In Sydney
— 4 June 2024

Australia’s First Ramen Vending Machine Restaurant Has Opened In Sydney

— 4 June 2024
Randy Lai
WORDS BY
Randy Lai

With its midnight trading hours from Wednesday to Saturday and unfussy tatami-clad dining room, Ramen Auru is as close as one can come to peak Tokyo vibes in this country — without first having to book return flights.

Hatena Group’s latest venue, which sits above the newly relocated Yakitori Yurippi on an otherwise quiet thoroughfare in Crows Nest, has emerged as one of the buzziest restaurant openings in Sydney so far this year.

And in a city where dining has become increasingly performative — that $120 per head you’ve just spent at the “cute neighbourhood brasserie” is to subsidise their décor, my guy — there’s something very nourishing about Hatena’s new ramen-focused effort.

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Mitomo Somehara, the group’s Japanese co-founder, says that as with Yakitori Yurippi and Nakano Darling, the goal here was “never to go for that classy modern look.”

Instead, the only novel touchpoints — if you can even begin to call such authentically Japanese details that — are the aforementioned tatami seating and a shokken. The latter is pretty much the first thing that greets diners upon entering: a one-off project made right here in Sydney, to specifications that closely emulate the same ticket vending machines you’d find at a legit ramen-ya like Ichiran.

The modest look of Ramen Auru belies the clear attention that Somehara and his cohorts have lavished upon their product. In summary: the menu here is very much “all killer, no filler.”

Three signature ramens are currently on offer, with the classic and customisable tonkotsu supplemented by yuzu shio — a clear slightly citric chicken noodle soup; and the ebi ramen — a steaming big bowl of umami packed with crustacean oil, seafood flavour, and a fistful of sautéed prawns.

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To supplement, there are the requisite number of classic side dishes: ranging from crowd favourites like gyoza to more esoteric fare like a Chinese-inspired reba nira stir-fry that reflects Hatena’s culturally informed perspective.

Whatever your order, consider rounding up a posse of fellow Sydneysiders and heading in ASAP. Once winter properly descends, we wager diners will be queuing up Tokyo-style (i.e. the best part of an hour) at peak times and weekends.

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Randy Lai
WORDS by
Following 6 years in the trenches covering consumer luxury across East Asia, Randy joins Boss Hunting as the team's Commercial Editor. His work has been featured in A Collected Man, M.J. Bale, Soho Home, and the BurdaLuxury portfolio of lifestyle media titles. An ardent watch enthusiast, boozehound and sometimes-menswear dork, drop Randy a line at [email protected].

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