SHIZUKU opened quietly a few months ago. Named after the traditional word for droplets, this Japanese restaurant pays homage to the day-long process of preparing ramen from scratch, where every drop counts.
The restaurant offers a combination of Izakaya-style plates and heartier, authentic dishes, as well as original recipes.
SHIZUKU’s biggest drawcards are its Ramen Burger and ramen.
Created by chef Hiromi Hanzawa (previously Aka Siro and Pabu), the Ramen Burger is the very first of its kind to hit Melbourne. The bun is made of tightly packed ramen noodles, encasing either rolled and marinated pork belly with homemade plum and prune sauce and Kewpie mayonnaise, or vegetarian-friendly miso-glazed eggplant with sweet miso jam.
Head Chef Ken Yoshida, who has worked in some of Japan’s most renowned ramen shops, is the man behind the authentic ramen.
There are currently six ramen varieties available – most are served with marinated char siu pork belly – including the ever-popular shoyu ramen, miso ramen, spicy miso ramen (served with a spoonful of chilli oil for diners to add at their leisure), yasai miso ramen (made with three kinds of miso), tan tan men (an adaptation of Sichuan-style spicy noodles), and the lesser known shio sea salt ramen.
Designed by Earl Pinto, the space is modern, black-walled and seats 45. Pale timber and silver light fittings mimic oversized Japanese blossoms, while miniature terrariums hang from flower arrangements and add a touch of green. Solo diners can take advantage of the red stools by the window, drinking in all the colour of Victoria Street while enjoying their lunch deal ($10 for a bowl of ramen, cha han fried rice; or gyoza and a side dish).
Owners David Chen and Shinako Suzuki (previously Shoya) have a simple philosophy: if they’re excited by SHIZUKU’s menu, their diners will be too. Bookings are encouraged and BYO is welcome (corkage $5).