Ichi-ban Boshi, Southport

“So you’re addicted to ramen?

OK, so that’s why you’re at Ichi-ban Boshi in Southport?

Oh, yes, I love Japanese food too!”

Our fellow diner from Brisbane is not alone in his ramen fetish. In fact, more people around the world eat ramen in some form on a daily basis than any other foodstuff! With over 65 billion bowls of ramen sold every year, ramen is seen as the national Japanese dish, the various prefectures of Japan even distinguishing their own regional variation. So it’s surprising to note that ramen is in fact a Chinese dish appropriated by the Japanese within the past century.

P1000659The history of ramen is almost as complex as Japan’s relationship with China! First introduced to Japan as immigrant food in the 1880s, eating ‘shina soba’, (or China soba) as it was known before the war, symbolised the rapidly expanding Japanese empire. Post war, the name changed to the more politically correct ‘ramen’, derived from the Chinese words for “pull” (la) and “noodle” (mian) because Chinese noodles are traditionally “pulled” by hand.

Instant ramen, devised by Ando Momofuku in 1948, has been credited with staving off mass starvation in post war Japan, before becoming the quick meal of preference for workers whose long working hours carried Japan’s rapid industrialisation. No longer just instant, ramen was everywhere!

In recent years, ramen has made appearances in restaurants around the world, and become an international fast food business worth more than $3 billion a year!

P1000472Ichi-ban boshi was the first noodle house in Southport, opening in 2001, and is still one of the most popular ramen restaurants on the coast.  Although there are noodle and rice dishes together with set meals on the menu, ramen forms the mainstay of the restaurant and is the single most ordered dish. Workers on meal breaks, locals and tourists queue up to order their huge steaming bowls of ramen, the ultimate comfort food of soft noodles in a salty broth, served piping hot.

It’s a no frills shop where you choose your meal, order and pay the $8.50 cash only at the main counter, sit at the table allotted, get self-serve water while you wait, and soon your meal will arrive.

P1000658-001Just like ramen itself, if you expect this to be a delicate dining experience then you will be disappointed. It’s not! So suck it up! It’s a delicious adventure maneuvering wayward noodles and dripping spicy broth, slurped up beneath the glow of the red canopy; some of the best fast food around.

Let’s face it: next door at the Cecil the hordes are safely chomping their way through huge steak sandwiches and fatboy chips, washed down with a midi of beer!

“And me? No, no, that’s not why I’m here. I’m addicted to gyoza!

But that’s another story…Enjoy your ramen!”

Shop 1, Cecil Hotel Complex, Scarborough Street, Southport Ph: 07 5528 2112
Ichi-Ban Boshi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Asian BYO Cuisine Dinner Japanese Lunch Main course $15 or less Noodle Restaurants Southport Street Food , , , , , ,

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