While DonToo pretty much offers a carbon copy menu of it’s sister restaurant, Don Don, further down Little Lonsdale St, by night it offers a ramen-only menu. The ramen menu at DonToo has a few interesting additions; a napoli ramen (?!) and a charshu laksa for those who are feeling a bit more adventurous in their slurping adventures. However, J and I both agreed that the charshu ramen was the one to try, with promises of succulent sliced pork and homemade noodles impossible to resist on a bone-chilling Melbourne eve.
We quickly filled out the given order card – here you are also given the choice of 250g or 300g of noodles. 2-ticks to the 300g box and a couple of sakes and we were ready to devour yet another bowl of ramen.
We visited DonToo on a relatively quiet Wednesday evening, however, our ramen seemed to take some time to come out. Wait times more than a blink-of-the-eye are unheard of when dining at any of the Don’s – so perhaps we just caught them on a bad night. Our warmed sake arrived and after a small but bearable wait, two overflowing, steaming bowls of ramen were plonked down onto our narrow triangular table. The charshu ramen beamed with glistening layers of melty pork, hiding under it an arsenal of chewy homemade noodles. The ramen noodles were slightly thicker than what I’m accustomed too but were such a pleasure to chew through. Despite the noodles having the perfect hardness, 300g was a struggle for me to get through and I would advise only the super ravenous to check that box. The broth was a delicious pork based broth with loads of bouncey cabbage,spring onion and beansprouts scattered throughout it. This ramen was worth waiting for.
The soft-boiled eggs were gorgeously goopy in the centre. The delicate yolk escaped into the broth the moment my chopstick tipped its thinly set exterior – bliss. DonToo offers small pots of garlic, chilli and pepper at the counter. I am certain I have made my condiment
obsession appreciation no secret and a large helping of garlic and chilli really elevated the charshu ramen broth into one of the best in recent memory.
DonToo churns out some of the best, cheap ramen I have had in Melbourne. I really want to revisit again soon to try some of their other ramen offerings – especially the Tsukemen (chilled ramen) which would be perfect for a balmy summer night.