Tucked away in the corner of a building on the Pacific Highway side of Chatswood Interchange is a little ramen shop called Hakata-Maru Ramen. It’s been open since Jan 2015, but I’ve never noticed it due to its slightly obscure location.
Our side of 8 pieces of pan-fried pork & vegetable gyoza came out first. The parcels were tasty and juicy, if a little small.
The pork katsu (crumbed pork loin) was not a great cut of meat and the crumb was a little coarse for my liking. I do like my crumb fine and melt in the mouth, but I do have high standards after tasting what Japan can offer.
The ramen were pretty decent though. This was the Kakuni Tonkatsu, with tender soy braised pork belly. The chunk of pork belly was quite tender, with melt in the mouth layers of fat .
If you like spicy, the Hakata-Maru Tonkatsu signature ramen combines the light and dark tonkatsu broth with a good hit of chilli and garlic, and tender slivers of pork belly.
The ramen isn’t so spectacular as to be memorable (like Gumshara’s or Ippudo’s), but it’s certainly decent enough that I’ll be back to satisfy my ramen cravings.