Sora Japanese Ramen
This unassuming eatery serves fine Japanese cuisine in the heart of Takapuna.
Sora Ramen is a mysterious eatery in Takapuna — a quick Google search before leaving the house showed no sign of Sora's menu or website. We went in with the thought that if you're an eatery with "ramen" in its name, you should have a talent for perfecting it and we weren't disappointed.
Upon arrival more than half of the tables were already full and they had just opened ten minutes ago. It's a small room with mixed decor; paper lanterns, a traditional Japanese tapestry hanging in the kitchen and geometric shelving, contrasted with neon signage.
The menu itself was simple and categorised under appetisers, ramen, donburi and udon. No drinks were listed and were "grab-your-own" from the Coca-Cola fridge at the front. Gyoza ($8) and chicken karaage ($12) were chosen for appetisers and chicken katsu ramen ($15) and curry chicken katsu don ($14) for the main course.
The karaage was served with a dollop of Japanese mayo. Think bite-sized pieces of tender chicken covered in a crispy coating and deep fried. The gyoza were classic Japanese pan-fried pork dumplings, with a tender wrapping, chive filling and finely cut vermicelli pieces.
The katsu ramen was a decent portion filled with delicious pork broth, egg noodles, seaweed and a boiled egg. The chicken katsu was brought out separately on a platter so it wasn't soggy from the broth, as it's the flaky fried Japanese breadcrumbs that makes this chicken a treat. When all eaten as one ensemble this dish was reminiscent of a warm chicken soup you'd crave on a winter's night.
Surprisingly we weren't over chicken just yet and divulged in the curry chicken katsu don, perfectly cooked katsu with curry sauce on top, served on a large warm bowl of rice. Again, the chefs at Sora were mindful about how they served their dish by ensuring the curry chicken katsu was served on a bed of lettuce in case sauce on your rice was a no-go.
Sora Ramen is a great spot to visit for a quick lunch or dinner with the family. A warming escape from the hustle and bustle of Hurstmere Road.