Last night was my brother’s birthday dinner and his only request was that I find a spot that serves Ramen. Now this is some what tricky a find in Johannesburg yes I know we have Great Eastern, Japa in Rivonia but after much debate we opted for Yamato in Illovo.
Yamato is a small, by South African standards, well lit Japanese restaurant in Illovo Muse with no frills cream tablecloths and great black tableware. I love all things black, looks so chic. The service is mostly fine but does at times need a bit of a nudge from the customer. I would recommend ordering starters and mains at once to avoid the hassle of needing to get the waitress after starters have been brought to the table.
Solomzi (my brother) and I were both introduced to Ramen in New York which means at least the ramen needs to have an egg in it. We ordered the Miso Cha Shu ramen and asked for an egg to be added to it. The waitress looked at us skeptically and said no this isn’t the dish for an egg, to which I replied “I want an egg in it!”.
The bowl arrived filled with slender egg noodles in a cloudy miso pork broth topped with wafer thin slices of rolled pork and chopped spring onion. The egg was beautifully poached with a yellow runny yolk. This was a lovely bowl of ramen, hearty with great depth of dashi, pork and miso flavour in the broth, perfectly al dente egg noodles and fresh sharp spring onion complimented with rich egg yolk.
Yamato Miso Cha Shu ramen is indeed one of the best bowls of ramen in Johannesburg!
I would have been perfectly overjoyed had I not been a student of David Chang’s Momofuku ramen. The difference is that the Momofuku ramen’s broth is clearer, has two types of pork, the belly and shoulder, and a few more trimmings; nori, naruto and pickled shiitakes. But let me get back to our Yamato dinner.
For dessert we shared a bowl of silky green tea ice cream with frozen red bean paste, the ice cream tasted as bright and intense as it’s colour balanced with the almost sweet but not quite savoury red bean paste.
The green tea ice cream with red bean paste is a must try!
+27 (0)11 268 05 11
198 Oxford Road Illovo Muse, Illovo, Johannesburg