The year 2017 saw the end of an era. The old video shop in Melville closed after decades of service. Soon after that we said goodbye to The Leopard (now in 44 Stanley) next door. But as Joburgers know, with change comes chance.
Soon a sign for Perron went up. But next to that, in the vacant place were the Leopard used to be, we introduce our new favourite ramen hangout in Joburg (we still love you, PRON, but these dudes make their own kimchi).
Love Me So is a brand spanking new Japanese, Korean and Chinese inspired restaurant. They serve big bowls of ramen, Korean BBQ, and izakaya (Japanese tapas). And, of course, amazing candy store inspired cocktails — can’t forget about that.
That’s the sum of it. But what’s Love Me So like? Simply put: awesome. As I made my trip from Roodepoort to Melville to try this place out, I asked my Facebook homies what they think of the place. The post went mad with raving reviews. Fair enough, ramen is one of the latest food crazes to hit our shores. In fact, we are four years behind America when it comes to these culinary trends! It all started in New York City around the Year Of Our Lord, 2013. Anyway (stay focused, Shawn!), Love Me So does not have set ramen dishes. You build your own.
You start by choosing a broth (chicken and sake, mushrooms and miso, or chicken and pork); a protein (pork belly, crispy shredded pork, butter roasted chicken breast, or an aged beef sirloin); and four toppings, such as ramen egg, kimchi, spring onions, beans, slow roasted tomato and so on. I can tell you without a doubt that this ramen will blow you away. Chef Alex spent months and months perfecting these broths. He sources his ramen noodles from a lady who makes her own. The servings are massive. I went in there hungry, thinking I was going to eat my way through the entire menu.
To look all fancy, here’s a bullet points of the ramen I had:
How good does that sound? Exactly.
With mains out of the way, let me introduce you to the Love Me So dessert menu. You might want to sit down for this one. We’ve got a macha tea pana cotta with coconut and macadamia crumbs, and black sesame ice cream with honey, vanilla, sesame and squid ink. Wait, it gets better. There’s a Japanese cotton cheese cake and a summer fruit platter for vegans.
In conclusion, it’s the kind of place where families can go for dinner, friends can hang out for sundowners, and hipsters can get their ramen on. Good food, great vibe, and lekker service — give it a try.
By Shawn Greyling