A tiny ramen bar from the minds behind a beloved lockdown pop-up.
May 11, 2022
One of Melbourne's favourite lockdown success stories is this brainchild of Federico Congiu (Di Stasio) and Manato Deleon (DOC Pizza & Mozzarella Bar, Shujinko). The pair's ramen pop-up Parco Project — and signature lobster ramen — earned cult status in 2021. Now, the concept has spawned a permanent bricks-and-mortar ramen bar in Moonee Ponds, an intimate 19-seat restaurant that nods to the tiny venues of Tokyo.
Here, Congiu draws on his time spent mastering the art of ramen while working in Miyazaki, Tokyo, Sapporo and Abashiri, to deliver a lineup of full-flavoured soups, rice bowls and sides made to crowd-pleasing recipes.
The ramen features a clean and natural umami kick thanks to the use of house-made koji — a traditional Japanese ferment or edible fungus made from mould-inoculated grains. Often used to create ingredients like miso, sake and soy sauce, the product lends Parco's soups an extra level of flavour and is even thought to aid digestion.
On the menu, you'll catch four ramen varieties, headlined by the signature offering — a thick chicken broth with spinach, dashi-marinated egg and either charred pork or chicken cha siu ($18.50). For an extra fix of richness, try the black truffle ramen — boasting pork neck cha siu and dashi egg ($19.50) — or fire things up with the addition of Parco's house 'spicy paste' to any ramen. You can also get your mitts on a bowl of that fan-fave lobster ramen ($23).
Outside of the soups, you can dig into a range of donburi bowls, plus snacks like karaage chicken ($12), gyoza ($9.80) and parmesan-doused truffle fries ($7). BYO booze for an easy $5 per person.