You could be forgiven for thinking this restaurant is named after John Lennon’s wife Yoko Ono, but it’s not, it’s Yoku Ono. I’m sure the restaurant owners were hoping people would draw some visitors based on this potential connection with the famed person. Unfortunately, I don’t think there is a connection (well, not that I could tell).
Yoku Ono is just off the main road on Chapel Street in an alleyway. The restaurant is small and traditional. It is traditional in the sense that the décor is simple wood and menu is a short, one pager. Chapel Street is still relatively busy, but more and more shops are being replaced with restaurants and believe this trend will continue for some time.
The ramen are all AUD$25 each. You can choose from their Yoku Ono and Miso Ramen with their Chicken Thigh or Pork Belly. We went with the these ramen and had both meats. I think the Pork Belly was superior to the Chicken Thigh, which didn’t have a unique flavor profile. Yoku Ono also serve chilled ramen, which is really nice to eat on a hot summer’s day.
The ramen came with some hearty soup made with chicken broth, instead of the usual pork broth, and had spring onion, fungi, bamboo shoots, egg, seaweed and some saffron. The soup was very delicious and I finished all my soup by the end of the meal.
The Pork Belly had a nice fatty flavor and the soup texture was quite nice. I thought the soup for Yoku Ono, which is the standard soup, was better tasting than the Miso Broth. (I think the Miso Broth is just the Yoku Ono soup with miso paste.) The Miso Broth was also slightly spicy.
We also ordered some extra noodles, which came in its own bowl for $3.
We ordered as a side their Tofu Meatball for $10. It was a crispy tofu with a soft starchy interior with a thick daikon sauce. The crispy tofu skin, the soft middle and sauce was a nice combination.
We also ordered their Grilled Eggplant which came with a thick, dark miso sauce. The eggplant was very succulent with a salty dark sauce. It was a different dish to what I’d normally order, but I thought it was a bit too salty for my liking.
We noticed that the front of house were non-Japanese people and the kitchen was packed with Japanese speaking people. I find it very pleasing to see this.
I also noticed that take-away was very big at Yoko Ono. We seat near the entrance and every so often, we would see people ordering and paying for take-away.
When it came to the bill, we attended on a Saturday and had to pay a 15% surcharge on top of our meal. It was explained that it was to offset what happened and was happening during the pandemic and lockdowns. (I thought, fine. It’s people sacrificing their weekend to work.)
Yoku Ono Ramen + Sake is located off the main street Chapel Street at 6A Anchor Place, Prahran VIC 3181:
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