Originally published on Broadsheet.
The casual fine diner has doubled down on the Asian inspiration behind its dinner menu.
“Offering lunch has always been on the cards for us,” says head chef and co-owner of Ramblr Nick Stanton. “But we wanted to ensure we had our dinners down pat first.”
The chef also co-owns Leonard’s House of Love with Guy Bentley and Jonathan Harper.
If you haven’t visited Ramblr, it’s a casual fine diner that manages to emulsify the cultural melting pot of modern Melbourne, where a red-sauce pasta joint, sits on the same city block as bánh mì and ramen. Its dinner menu pairs precise European technique with bold, umami-driven Asian flavours. It’s also one of Melbourne’s best restaurants.
The new lunch menu though, moves closer to the “casual” end of what the restaurant delivers. It takes form through Asian-style canteen food – noodles predominantly. Dishes have been inspired by both Stanton’s own travels through Asia and some of his favourite Asian restaurants in Melbourne, such as the CBD’s Xi’an Famous Food.
“There are parts of Asia, like Xi’an and Chongqing in China, that have such incredible flavours – we’d like to represent them at Ramblr,” says Stanton.
The menu as a whole is a combination of Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Thai and Japanese flavours. Stanton is aiming to change the menu weekly, but the crux of the opening menu – the soups – is all ramen.
Chicken karaage skewers with Kewpie mayo
Korean-style barbeque wings
Pickled cucumber with silken tofu
Chinese pita pockets
Cumin lamb and chilli
Chinese Bolognese with mozzarella
Crispy eggplant, smoked tofu and pickles
Tonkatsu – 24-hour cooked pork stock, soy braised pork belly with scallion sofrito, bean shoots and katsuobushi
Tsukemen – pork dipping soup with pork belly, cold noodles, pickled mustard greens and an egg
Shrooman – shitake and kombu emulsified with portobello mushroom puree, miso and peanut butter sofrito, bean shoots and chilli oil
Shio – 15-hour-cooked chicken stock, soy braised pork belly with scallion sofrito, bean shoots and katsuobushi
Shoyu – 15-hour-cooked chicken stock with soy sauce, slow-cooked pork belly scallion sofrito, bean shoots, egg and nori
Shitake and kombu – shitake and kombu dashi, crispy enoki scallion sofrito, bean shoots, chilli and sesame oil
Diners can also add extras to the ramen, such as pork belly, pickled greens, kimchi and crispy shitake.
Kohlrabi and green papaya salad with crushed peanuts and chilli
Cabbage, macadamia nuts, fried shallots with a miso dressing
Ramblr is open for lunch Tue to Sat 12pm–4pm at 363 Chapel Street, South Yarra.
Photography: Jake Roden.