Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Sekai Japanese Ramen

In the last few months, not one, but two new Japanese cafes have popped up in Footscray.  The first is Ebi Fine Foods in Essex St, way over Gordon St, whose fabulous pork belly I have fallen head-over-piggy tail in love with.  The second is Sekai Japanese Ramen, which has opened up on Hopkins St, nestled within Footscray Market.

I just can't resist pictures of food.  Ebi may have a snazzy digital photo frame in the window that scrolls through shots of its dishes, but Sekai made my heart flutter with its total sensory overload of pics!

Complimentary tea is forthcoming when you sit down.  I don't think it's run by Japanese people (the menu has some oddities like wonton noodle soup), but then again, neither is Ebi, and it doesn't detract from the deliciousness at that particular restaurant.

Yasai udon, $8

I so wanted to follow in the footsteps of the Ramen Hunters, but I couldn't go past the yasai udon.  For a long time, every time I went to the city I would eat this at one of the Japanese cafes along Swanston St.  Udon are thick wheat noodles, and in this particular soup they come topped with a variety of vegetables.  It is delicious and makes me feel virtuous, although I must say the MSG burn afterwards at many places is disappointing.  The soup here was good.  The noodles were a little overcooked and the broth could have done with more punch, but the toppings were really quite nice.

Gyoza, $5

These gyoza were great, though!  The filling was a spunky mix of pork, cabbage, and ginger, and their bottoms were so crispy and delightful.

The prices here just can't be beat - most things are $10 and under.  It's certainly not the best Japanese in Melbourne, but it's fun to have a different option when you're out doing your shopping.  I like that it opens out on to the market, and I hope that people that may not otherwise shop there enjoy the experience of it as they eat their lunch.

In other Footscray news, Thai Tho is closing down and a Korean BBQ joint opening in its place.  Excitement plus!!!  I'm bummed I never got to try Thai Tho, but it mustn't have been that mind-blowing then, right?

Sekai Japanese Ramen on Urbanspoon

Sekai Japanese Ramen
Shop 194, 81 Hopkins St, Footscray (map)
Phone: 9687 1088
Hours: Tues-Sun 11am-8pm


  1. I walked past Thai Tho the other day and saw that sign too! Must say I was also excited. I'm thinking it's a race to see if I move first, or they open first! I think they're going to win. :(

    Will definitely try Sekai's ramen and report back in the next couple of months. Fingers crossed I'll have a local ramen joint worth going to (repeatedly).

  2. We wanted to check out Thai Tho the other day as well! Shame. It always did look a little bit too "ritzy" for the area. Like wearing stylies with your sweats to go to the market.

    Sekai ramen is great for a local quick japanese fix and the prices are stupidly cheap. But Ebi is out of this world! The salad they serve with their fish is amazing. It isn't the cheapest and even though its not run by Japanese, it kinda feels real.

  3. The majority of 'Japanese' restaurants in Melbourne that I have been to (at least 80% of them) are actually run by Chinese, especially the cheaper ones.

    Still, it's good to see some Japanese restaurants (and a Korean too!) in Footscray. Will go and try soon.

  4. Hi Billy - I hope your move goes smoothly and you can celebrate with bi bim bap. Yum yum! There is also a strange Korean takeaway place on Gordon St that is never open, next to the new fish & chip shop that shut down with no explanation. Weird.

    Hi Temasek - ritzy in Footscray, no good! I wear my PJ's to Sims all the time. Isn't Ebi great! I agree, it feels real. The owner's passion just exudes.

    Hi Wills - I hope you like. Don't go expecting amazing things; it's just a little something different. Although the gyoza were good!

  5. Sekai Ramen is fantastic!!! I've just had lunch there - normally I go for the dumpling soup but this time I had the number 1 on the menu which consists of ox toungue in a wine sauce - it was superb!!! still salivating as we speak. Never got to try Thai Tho either but looking forward to some Korean! Great to see that Footscray is on the up and up!!!

  6. I've been to this joint once - and I agree with anonymous: The ox toungue in a wine sauce is rilly, rilly good.

  7. Hey guys....the Korean place is opened.
    Good food...good service...but they don't have bibambap :( Prices are reasonable compared to the city. Must eat TOFU...MUST eat TOFU...OMG I have never been this crazy about TOFU TOFU...hehehe Anyway, try there BBQ as well, they cook it in front of you with this sleek looking portable charcoal BBQ...(I want one)...My man and I spent $55 for 2 TOFU, MUSHROOM SALAD yum yum and BBQ with PORK and BEEF..and 2 beers....rice and sides are free. I reckon thats pretty awesome. Will definitely go again... ;) chao chao..

  8. Anon, thank you for the wrap! Bummer about bibimbap. Sorj Cafe in Kensington has, but they do a fried egg, not raw. I have a date set aside to go here and will keep the tofu in mind... I looove tofu!

  9. I was so hoping for local bibimbap too :(

    We used to go to Sori, but the waiting times for takeaway started getting ridiculous (over an hour once and there was nobody eating in!) so we gave up. Best bibimbap I've found was in Fremantle of all places - lovely crusty bottom (the bib, not Fremantle!).

    Also, love your blog Ms Baklover!

  10. Thank you so much Squee! I wonder if any of the Korean places in Victoria St, West Melbourne do bibimbap?

  11. Walked past Hyeung Jae BBQ House (aka the Korean BBQ place) the other day and they appear to have bibimbap after all! It's on the menu posted outside. They are only open nights, and their website is:

    I have my date booked to go; very excited!

  12. Hyeung Jae (The Korean BBQ place) is now open for lunch at 12pm people. There prices for Bibimbap is $10...deliciously cheap. heheheh Go give them your support. Love the variety now. Footscray so needs it. I wonder if Footscray can ever have a night life like Victoria Street Richmond or Smith Street?? :( Want something to rave about in Footscray.

  13. Anon, do you think we will ever call it Hyeung Jae? I think it will be forever known as "the Korean BBQ place"! ;)

    Oh god, if we could just have something, ANYTHING open past 10pm. It is so disappointing being turfed out at 10pm and having to wander the deserted streets, which are so alive during the daylight hours, before getting a taxi to Yarraville.

    Fingers crossed John at Ebi gets his sake bar going! Banzai!

  14. It's not something I've thought about before, but you guys are rght on. Oft times midweek, when Iv decided I can't be bothered cooking, I look at the clock and think: "Hmmm, 7pm - better get my skates on or else I'll be going hungry!"

    I suspect some of the joins on Racecourse Rd may be late openers by comparison, but I'm not sure.

    BTW, the swish new Laksa King - and another similar joint right next door - are worth checking out for sure. We've been to Laksa King once - it's huge (well, much bigger than it used to be!), very stylish, bright and cheery, yet the prices seem all to remain about the $10 mark.

  15. I think this place is closed..

  16. Hubby and I love their teriyaki beef on rice, special pork on noodles ( comes with small broth on side), gyoza & seaweed salad. Yum :)

    1. I lurve seaweed salad :) I haven't been to Sekai for ages but will have to give your rec's a try. Thanks for stopping by :)


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