Words and Photography: Joy Hansen
Ramen O, the authentic ramen haven that first opened its doors in Belconnen, has now expanded its reach from Woden to the bustling CBD of Canberra.
Owner/Chef Shun, who honed his culinary skills through training in Japanese cuisine in Japan and further refined them at Melbourne’s esteemed fine-dining establishment, Nobu, made his way to Canberra. Initially serving as a chef at a Japanese restaurant, Shun embarked on a new culinary venture in response to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to the establishment of Ramen O in November 2020.
“At Ramen O, we aim to offer an authentic ramen experience, coupled with Japanese-style hospitality. When customers step into our restaurant, we want them to feel as though they’ve entered a genuine Japanese ramen establishment,” Shun passionately explains.
Shun’s wife, Yuki, played a pivotal role in shaping the restaurant’s ambiance. Having studied design in Japan, including designing costumes for Kabuki, she channels her creativity into Ramen O’s aesthetic appeal. In crafting Ramen O Canberra CBD, a primary consideration was ensuring accessibility, with a deliberate focus on designing the space to cater to families and large gatherings. Dedicated features have been incorporated to accommodate prams and wheelchairs.
During Shun’s initial five years in Canberra working at a Japanese restaurant, he couldn’t overlook the increasing demand from customers for an authentic ramen experience in the city. Responding to this desire, he opened Ramen O, with a singular focus on making customers happy.
“At Ramen O, our priority is to treat each customer with care and ensure they leave with a smile. It’s all about making our customers happy,” Shun emphasises.
Ramen O’s Delicious Offerings
Hailing from Nagasaki, Kyushu, Shun brings the flavours of his hometown to the forefront with the most popular dish on the menu – the ‘Ramen Wow’. This dish features Ramen O’s signature Kyushu-style pork and soy broth, topped with extra char siu pork and egg.
For those seeking a spicy kick, the ‘Spicy Ramen’ offers a customizable spice level, providing an extra layer of excitement to the signature Kyushu-style broth.
Ramen O also caters to vegetarian preferences with the ‘Ramen Beautiful,’ boasting a rich, creamy soy milk-based broth that appeals to both vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike.
Seasonal specials keep the offerings fresh and exciting. Ramen O’s current special, the ‘Negi Shio Lemon Ramen,’ combines lemon, tonkotsu broth, ricotta cheese, and mint for a refreshing springtime delight.
Collaborating with Spring Street Gardens, a Japanese organic herbal tea shop in Canberra, Ramen O ensures a delightful pairing of its ramen with the finest teas.
The menu extends beyond ramen, providing the opportunity to relish gyoza, char siu pork rice bowls, and delightful mochi for dessert.
In the future, Shun aspires to launch Ramen O in Japan. “Although originating in Australia, the vision is to take it to Japan and make Japanese customers happy. Plans are in the works, but nothing has been finalised yet.”
As Ramen O continues to thrive in Canberra with three establishments in just 3 years, the commitment to authenticity, quality, and customer satisfaction remains unwavering. For those unable to dine-in, convenient takeaway options are also available. Consider Ramen O your go-to destination for an authentic and delightful Japanese ramen experience!
Ramen O Canberra CBD
Address: 1/28 University Avenue, Canberra ACT 2601
Opening Hours (public holidays excluded): Monday-Thursday 12PM–2:30PM, 5:30PM–8PM, Friday & Saturday 12PM–2:30PM,, 5:30PM–8:30PM, Sunday Closed