Brightly lit it stands out on the Russell Street incline and it feels a bit like entering a retail fashion shop for some reason. Still slightly fragrant with new paint fumes we were the first to arrive for dinner service and were shown to a comfortable square table that could have seated 2 or 4.
We liked the spacious seating, the fun wall paintings and the fact that it made going for ramen, often a casual quick meal, more of an occasion. Lots of seating for large groups as well as at the bar and all with a zen like calmness which again is quite special for a ramen place.
We topped our ramen with an additional egg and some izakaya style accompaniments namely the fried chicken bites and potato salad.
Ikorry Fukuoka also offer additional free noodles (kind of like getting seconds) so we decided to share one serve. You can also specify the texture of the noodles and we went with hard. There is an extra hard but hard was good for us.
So Stef's yuzu ramen was a mossy green in colour. She knew this though. I tasted some of the broth and as well as the usual porky goodness, there was a sour tang and then a warmth of spice. It was a kind of take on tom yam soup I guess.
My black garlic ramen, was as expected black in colour. I thought it might be super oily given oil is added to it but it wasn't. Really deep flavours and the garlic is this mellow flavour backdrop so it's not strong enough to keep away vampires but it's definitely there.
The ramen noodles are really good - quite thin and not really springy but still really good. The egg was cooked really nicely and the yolks richly satisfying, The pork had a sweet char siu flavour to it and I liked that it had a flavour to itself as sometimes in ramen it's the soup that has the flavour not the meat.
I started off really enjoying the back garlic ramen and found it savoury and satisfying. However by the final mouthfuls I found it overly rich and cloying so perhaps no extra noodles needed!
The fried chicken looked a bit naked when it arrived - some Kewpie would have been nice. But it was tasty and probably didn't need the Kewpie once tasted. The potato salad was dreadfully disappointing. $9 for one little ball of potato salad served at fridge temperature.
As we're on the subject of price now, Ikkoryu Fukuoka is not the cheapest ramen joint. And if you want extras like egg or any other toppings such as wood ear fungus, additional seaweed, pickles etc. then the price soon adds up and before you know it, it's almost $30 for ramen; albeit gourmet ramen! Having said that, I think they can get away with charging the premium because of the attentive service and the decor. Although not for the potato salad!