Ichi Ban Boshi – Return of the old favourite

Ramen japanese noodles egg tokyo miso shoyu soy gyoza

It’s a Friday night and two days before Pizzaboy’s birthday. We always eat out on Friday evenings, it’s our favourite method of winding down from our mundane 9to5 jobs.

“It’s my birthday weekend, does that mean I can choose where we eat tonight?”
“Ok, but it has to be somewhere I haven’t blogged.”
“That’s not fair. I guess Menya is out of the question?”
“We’ve been to Menya 5 times since I blogged about it, choose somewhere different.”
“Ichi Ban Boshi?”
“Ok!” Two thumbs up.

Ramen japanese noodles egg tokyo miso shoyu soy gyoza

Ichi Ban Boshi was our favourite Friday night haunt before we discovered Menya. It’s located next to our favourite book shop, Kinokuniya. Pizzaboy is a comic book geek. I’m a cookbook nerd. Kinokuniya is our home away from home. It’s very easy for us to shop for our books and then cross the hall to have our much loved end-of-the-week meal.

Ramen japanese noodles egg tokyo miso shoyu soy gyoza

Ichi Ban Boshi has a no reservation policy. You simply turn up and take a number. Thankfully this wait was only 10 minutes.

Ramen japanese noodles egg tokyo miso shoyu soy gyoza

We were seated and handed our menus immediately. There are many items on the menu ranging from the ever popular Tokyo Ramen to the most sort after Tonkotsu Ramen (only 15 bowls are available per day). There is also a selection of curry dishes, salads and various rice combo’s.

I don’t bother looking at the menu. We flag down a waitress and order. Pizzaboy and I decide to stick to our old faithfuls: Tsukemen, Karaage-don, Gyoza and Grilled Ox Tongue.

Ramen japanese noodles egg tokyo miso shoyu soy gyoza

Gyoza $6.50

They make the best gyoza that I have come across. It is not laden with ginger. The skin is thin and crispy. The pork filling is generous and the dipping sauce is the perfect marriage of soy sauce and rice vinegar. The leek and chilli sauce was a little scant on this visit.

Ramen japanese noodles egg tokyo miso shoyu soy gyoza

Grilled Ox Tongue - only available after 6pm

A lot of people may stand back in disgust when faced with a plate of ox tongue. Pizzaboy and I will vouch for its culinary wonders. When grilled correctly and with a sprinkling of sea salt it can become the best cut of the cow.

The moment the plate is placed at our table we are measuring the size of each slice, making sure that neither of us is cheated of our fair share.

We don’t bother with the salt and lemon, but we munch at the cucumber. It somehow compliments the charcoal meatiness of the ox tongue.

I glance at my last piece and look up at the soon-to-be birthday boy.

“Pizza? You can have my last one.”
“Heh? are you sure?”
“Yeah, your lucky its your birthday.”
“Mmmmkay.” The ox tongue disappears from the plate before I can blink.

Ramen japanese noodles egg tokyo miso shoyu soy gyoza

Tsukemen $12.00

The entire top floor of the building smells of Tsukemen. It is a boiled ramen that is cooled and served with a potent soy-based broth. Its topped with super soft slow-cooked pork slices, corn, leek, pickled bamboo and spring onions. The noodles are dipped into the broth before slurpy consumption.

Ramen japanese noodles egg tokyo miso shoyu soy gyoza

There are only three places that I have eaten this. In Shibuya, Japan, I pulled out my bottomless stomach and whole heartedly swallowed a giant dish of this at a very sterile ramen shop. I also had mixed experiences with Menya’s version. However, I have found that I am always enjoying these salty, tangy threads of gold from Ichi Ban Boshi.

Ramen japanese noodles egg tokyo miso shoyu soy gyoza

Karaage-don $11.00

Ichi Ban Boshi has been around for a long time – perhaps more than 12 years. It’s original shop was housed at The Strand Arcade on Pitt St. It was one of the first places that got Pizzaboy and I hooked onto Japanese food. However, it did not have the typical menu items that the cuisine is notorious for, one word… sushi.

Ramen japanese noodles egg tokyo miso shoyu soy gyoza

It opened up a whole new world to us. It’s solely responsible for our obsession with karaage chicken. Karaage is a deep fried battered chicken. At some places it is sometimes its too dry, sometimes its too oily, here at Ichi Ban Boshi it is tender and doused in rice vinegar. Yeah baby!

Ramen japanese noodles egg tokyo miso shoyu soy gyoza

It was lovely to visit our old haunt once again. Its been more than 6 months since our last feast. I promise we won’t be apart for so long again.

Ichi-ban Boshi Town Hall
Level 2, The Galeries Victoria Building
500 George Street
Sydney NSW
(02) 9262 7677

Ichi-ban Boshi Bondi Junction
Shop 1, 171-173 Oxford St,
Bondi Junction NSW
(02) 9369 3980

Ichi-ban Boshi Gold Coast
Shop1, Cecil Hotel Complex,
Scarborough St,
Southport QLD
(07) 5528 2112

Ichi-ban Boshi on Urbanspoon

Opening Hours
Monday to Sunday 11:00 – 21:00

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  1. Belle@OohLook

    Thanks for the reminder about Ichiban Boshi – I’m always put off by the waiting, but your photos of the gorgeous food are changing my mind 🙂

  2. Yen@foodforfour

    I love this place. Once in a while we make the trek down to Vic Galleries but if you come after 12pm the queue is crazy. Their gyoza is the best! I also love their green tea cappuccino.

  3. Tina

    Oooh yes – time to return for GYOZA!

  4. chocolatesuze

    i love the tonkotsu ramen hehe meaty fatty broth ftw!

  5. Conor @ HoldtheBeef

    Chicken karaage is impossible not to obsess over. OK, so maybe it is possible for vegetarians to not obsess over it, but the rest of us are powerless to its charms.

  6. Sarah, Maison Cupcake

    Looks like a great meal, reminds me of the sorts of places we used to have in “Oriental City” in North London before they shut it down. I would definitely try that Ox tongue.

  7. thatssoron

    i love tsukemen… does it come with char siu?

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