Name: Ka: Sushi Ramen
Address: Shop 3, 121 Marcus Clarke Street. Canberra City, 2601
Ph: 02 6247 1477
Hours: Monday – Saturday, 11am-9pm.
There’s nothing new about fast food. People have always wanted decent food quickly, and high-turnover restaurants have been there to accommodate. There is even evidence in the ruins of Pompeii of street-side shops that had pots of food cooking constantly over fires, in a version of Roman take-away, so the idea has been around for thousands of years.
In Australia we have surplus choices when it comes to fast food. Burgers, fried chicken and pizzas of varying quality are spread across the country, not to mention Thai, Chinese, Turkish and Indian take away. They all hit the spot in different ways when you’re in a rush.
But, for my mind, it is the Japanese who do fast food the best. Now, I don’t mean the shopping centre sushi stands with dried out hand rolls that have been sitting there all day. Instead I am talking about proper ramen houses, where you can sit down for a steaming bowl of soup and noodles.
Ka: Sushi Ramen, in the Ernst & Young building, is one such example. With bright lights, polished shared tables, and the constant saccharine sweetness of K-pop playing on a wide screen TV, this is a fun place to eat.
Not to mention, the place is fast. After ordering a bowl of Karai Ton Ton Ramen, minced spicy pork and belly ramen, it was delivered to my table in a matter of minutes. The basic broth and noodles of any ramen dish were lifted by unbelievably tender slices of rolled pork belly. The minced spicy pork was a little dry and didn’t add much, but the other elements of the dish worked in harmony. A good feed for $13.
From the sushi menu a maki roll topped with luscious grilled eel was simply delivered with cucumber and avocado. This took a little longer to arrive than the ramen, which was a good sign. It means it was made fresh, and it tasted it.
Rounding this out was a side of octopus balls. These small, soft fried fritters of octopus were warming and tasted just enough of the sea, and topped with Japanese mayo they made a great snack. Even though the salad served next to it was generic and unnecessary, the cost was so low that it was easy to ignore.
I have never been a huge fan of bubble tea, but it is nice to see something a little different in a non-alcoholic drinks menu. A sharp, shaken lemon drink was incredibly refreshing, and will be revisited in summer.
The menu has pictures on it, you order at the counter, and the seats are hard planks of wood. But Ka Sushi Ramen makes no pretence about what it is. This is simple food, served quickly and costing not a lot. Whether in your lunch break or as a fast dinner before going out, this is an easy, fun place to eat.
Just as fast food should be. Those Romans would be impressed.