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Photographs: David Straight


People often ask us where to find the best ramen in Auckland and we have two answers: Ramen Do, and Ramen Takara in Browns Bay.

You’ll find it in the Browns Bay shops, a block up from the very pretty beach, across from the Irish pub. The interior is stock-standard cheap-eat Japanese: lots of dark wood, timber screens, calligraphy. There are cheerful bright red tables and simple wooden chairs. So far, so familiar.

Except the ramen, or more precisely the broth. Pure flavours, clear stocks; they’re adventurous though, slightly tweaked. The shoyu ramen ($9) is classic, simple, and very good. Then there’s also the Sai-Sai ramen ($13), a clear vegetarian broth and Kaisen ramen ($14.50), which is a a simple, delicate fish broth topped with prawn and squid. The Tonkotsu (pork broth) ($12) has none of the overbearing fattiness that so many of them have. Our current favourite, though? The Tan-Tan Men ($15), which is a sour and spicy soup, balanced with sesame and topped with pork mince and leek. It is simple, sublime. If only Browns Bay was closer. SFG

HOURS Lunch 11.30am to 3pm, dinner 5pm to 9pm, seven days.

ADDRESS 4 Anzac Road, Browns Bay, ph 476-6041.

IMPORTANT DETAILS There’s also a short tapas menu which we have to remind ourselves to try every now and then. It’s good too!

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