Friday, February 17, 2012

nao miso ramen


Ramen, one of my favourite things to eat of all time. A decent bowl of ramen is also one of the hardest things to find in Perth.

It boggles my mind how I managed to never visit Nao. I remember that it used to have a very sporadic opening hours. For whatever reason that I did what I did, I am deeply remorseful about it. The cause of my regret is that Nao served the best bowl of ramen I've ever had.

You may not want to believe me, since I have been guilty for using unnecessary superlatives in the past. But I tell you, in this case, it is very much justified.


Nao felt right at home located below a hostel, wedged between a newsagency and a malaysian restaurant. It is by no means spacious, in fact, it is quite poky in there.

Don't let its lack of space fool you though, because service is excellent. We came during the peak of lunch hour, and the restaurant is packed, but someone greeted us right away, took our name and put us on the queue. We only waited for 5 minutes before a table opened up.

Chicken ramen - $9.50

I ordered the chicken ramen, with plain egg noodle, in miso base. The first thing that a ramen must get right is the soup. And boy did they get it right, the soup was so flavoursome, not overly salty, with specks of tōgarashi for a surprise kick.

The chicken pieces were not huge, but they were tender.

And the noodle! Oh, the noodle was al dente. Swoon!

The whole dish was just so engrossing, like a book that I cannot put down. I found myself fishing for more, the bamboo shoots, the wakame, the nori, the bean sprouts, the spring onions.

Shoyu ramen - $9.50
with extra corn - plus $1
and extra chicken - plus $3

Hubby ordered his with the shoyu base, and he got it with extra corn and extra chicken. He may have used the word, the best ramen he ever had.


Here he was, slurping the noodle, along with the other patrons, the majority of which were japanese.

To ensure that this phenomenal experience wasn't a fluke, I went to Nao a few more times since then. And Nao has proven to me over and over again that it deserves the title of the best ramen in Perth.

PS: Unfortunately, this is not the case with Arigataya, another ramen joint that I've reviewed in the past. Alas, the last time I went there hoping to tuck into a bowl of great ramen, the noodle was overcooked and limp, it was also a different type of noodle from the original one I had when I did my blog post about it, and the broth was wayyyy too salty. It was so different to my previous experiences that I had to inquire about it, the serving staff told me that the chef's still the same, but the shop's now under a different owner.

Nao Japanese on Urbanspoon
Nao Japanese Restaurant
117 Murray St
Perth WA
Open Monday-Thursday 11.30am-6pm, Friday 11.30am-9pm, Sunday noon-5pm
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