Edo, Hamilton Central

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Mmmm, ramen. How I have missed thee. :) There are a few other places serving it in Hamilton, but sadly all the ones that I’ve tried were very far from the real deal. We dropped by Edo on a whim, having seen their advertisement on the boards outside Kmart. They’re tucked away at the back of the Kmart shopping complex, so good thing they had the ad out, otherwise we would never have spotted them.

The ramen starts at $14 and you can add extra toppings for a small price each. Interestingly, the ‘default’ doesn’t come with bamboo shoots, but does come with an egg – the opposite of what I’ve been used to. Seaweed and chashu pork are included. There also isn’t a selection for soup base, so you just get the default, which (I think?) is tonkotsu.

The verdict? Pretty darn good. The soup base was rich and flavoursome, the ramen noodles were proper ones with a bit of chewiness to them, the chashu pork was a bit fatty but otherwise good, and the egg was nicely-done with a semi-soft yolk. I wouldn’t compare it to the likes of Tanpopo (Auckland), but to be fair Edo isn’t a specialty ramen shop, they serve other forms of Japanese cuisine as well.

We also had the takoyaki and a chicken teriyaki donburi. Sadly the donburi wasn’t great (we’ve had better nearby) but the takoyaki was really good. Topped with a generous serving of bonito flakes, with the mayo and brown sauce on the side to avoid getting soggy, chock full of delicious octopus. Perfect.

Service was a little bit awkward, but they are new so I’m sure it will improve with time. Will definitely return.

Update 20/7/16: Visited again – the place was pretty packed this time! Food still arrived promptly. Oddly this time the ramen had bean sprouts(!?) in it, which weren’t present the first time we ordered it… no biggie, I’m sure we can request it without bean sprouts next time. Tried their tempura, which was a standout – the batter could have been a little crispier, but the tempura dip was glorious, served with ample grated horseradish. There was a good amount of tempura for the price, too. Also tried their chawan mushi, which was sadly a letdown – far too salty and had an odd texture and taste. So, the dishes I would recommend thus far: ramen, takoyaki, and tempura udon.

 

Cost: $13 – $16 pp
Food: 4 Stars
Service: 4 Stars
Ambience: 4 Stars
Value for money: 4 Stars

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