Comfort food: ramen

I've had an upset stomach the last few days, even had yesterday off work. Not very pleasant, and I missed the Melbourne Cup festivities. To help recover, I've been eating quite bland food, without spices or dairy products. Last night that meant some tomatoey broad beans on toast, which went down fine.

Today, back at work and hunting for a bland lunch, I discovered On Ramen on Hay Street, Haymarket. Ramen entered my repertoire of comfort foods on a cold Winter day in Tokyo. One of my colleagues took us down the road from the Spike offices to a tiny ramen joint. The place had about six bar stools and you sat slurping at the bar while the owner cooked up your simple, but delicious, noodles. There were also gyoza on offer.

Behind the owner, a boiling pot of stock looked like it'd been going since the post-war reconstruction, with the occasional onion or pig thrown in and the water topped up each day. The owner would take some parboiled noodles, dunk them in for another boil, then serve them up covered in the amazing stock and whatever meat you'd selected. Even for this simple meal, the presentation was brilliant.

So does On Ramen, Shop 4, 181 - 187 Hay St, Haymarket match up? I think so! Tasty noodles and soup. My pork belly and miso ramen was pretty good, though the pork was probably a bit sweet for my tastes. The salty, rich broth is exactly what my recovering body needs. If chicken soup is Jewish Penicillin, surely ramen is the Japanese version?

Note to Americans: Ramen does not mean instant noodles.