Hot on the heels of opening their second RaRa outpost in Randwick, owners Scott Gault and Katie Shortland unveiled a third ramen joint on Newtown's Australia Street in March — but this one is 100 percent vegan.
Lonely Mouth is located in the old Oscillate Wildly digs, next door to Black Star Pastry and down the block from Continental Deli and the Courty. Gault said the (slightly) new direction for the popular brand was in response to how popular RaRa's vegan ramen had been at its other two outposts. "Since opening RaRa Redfern, we have been blown away by the support from our vegan customers," says Gault. "We worked on various vegan ramen and sides in the background, but due to the limitations of the size of the Redfern space were unable to give the dishes the light of day or proper attention they deserved."
As Newtown is already a top destination for vegan and vegetarian dining, with the likes of Gigi's Pizzeria, Golden Lotus and Lentil as Anything, the RaRa team felt Lonely Mouth would fit-right-in alongside the other vegan "trailblazers".
At Lonely Mouth, the team has introduced a menu that's entirely new — apart from the vegan miso ramen, which is a fan-favourite already at RaRa Redfern. Alongside it, you'll find three new (all-vegan) ramen: a sunflower and hemp seed shoyu, with plant-based 'chashu', nori, bamboo shoots and black fungus; the tantanmen (spicy sichuan-based sesame broth) topped with house 'mince', bok choy, ground mixed nuts and sichuan peppercorns; and a soy shiro miso, topped with grilled tofu, red cabbage, bean sprouts and grilled corn. And, on top of the ramen, instead of tamago, you'll find Lonely Mouth's own house-made vegan 'eggs'.
Apart from ramen, the menu also features a few snacks, including cauliflower karaage infused with shoyu-tare, seasonal Japanese pickles, kimchi and tempura corn. For drinks, expect a new selection of low intervention wines — vegan, of course — as well as the brand's usual Yulli's Brews in cans and Asahi on tap.
The fit-out is a cross between a modern ramen shop and a small Tokyo cafe, with art installations and a living plant wall, plus more hanging greenery, lanterns and warm lighting. You can expect more of those typical RaRa queues, too, so expect a (well worth it) wait.