Cairns is well known for attracting tourists from all over the world, especially Japan. It is also my hometown and although I have fond memories of the place, it’s not the greatest place for foodies.
However, on a recent short trip back home, I came across this small restaurant that was not there before called Ganbaranba, whose specialty is Japanese tonkotsu ramen.
This place had a very rustic Japanese noodle bar atmosphere – the lighting was dim, furniture seemed old and worn, the kitchen was just behind the bar and completely open, iced barley tea was served to everyone – I loved it.
I took a seat at the bar so I could watch the chefs at work. The menu was simple and mostly based off their tonkotsu broth. When my meal arrived, the first thing I did was to try the broth by itself and straight away, it put a great big smile on my face. This had to be the best tonkotsu place I have ever visited. The broth was full of flavour and I could really taste the long and slow cooking process and unlike other places, this was not at all overpowered by saltiness. The ramen was fantastically cooked, as well as the condiments.
I don’t think I went anywhere else for lunch during my week stay in Cairns. Who would have thought this small seaside town up north would have such a rustic Japanese noodle bar, and a really good one too. Ganbaranba – if you read this, I hope you will open up in Brisbane!