Ganbaranba Noodle Colosseum, Cairns
One of Cairns’ hidden gems is the authentic and super cute Japanese noodle restaurant on Spence Street, Ganbaranba Noodle Colosseum. It’s a little hole in the wall place that is almost too easy to walk straight past and when you ask somene if they have been to the Noodle Colosseum and they haven’t they look at you like you have gone mad. I took SF and MF to Ganbaranba one Tuesday night and when we arrived there was the typical fare of Japanese and locals ‘in the know’. When you step inside you almost feel like you are in Japan. All the staff here are very friendly and when you walk in you are greeted in unison with the usual cheery ‘Irasshaimase’ by the chefs behind the noodle bar while the equally cheery waitress greets you and asks you where you would like to sit. We took our seats and browsed over the menu’s while our waitress poured us some glasses of ice cold Oolong tea.
To start we ordered some of the very tasty gyoza that Ganbaranba followers rave about. They are made fresh daily too! The gyoza came out quickly and steaming hot but since we ordered two lots of five (AU$4 for 5) we had to decide who got the extra one. I got it. We all commented on how good they were and SF reckoned she could eat 80 of them she liked them that much.
While waiting for your mains you can help yourself to the Homemade Mustard Leaf Pickle, Pickled Ginger and Pickled Bean Sprouts next to the noodle bar. I think these are condiments that are actually supposed to go in your noodles but I can’t help but eat them while I am waiting for my noodles since they are pretty damn tasty.
The noodles can be ordered three different ways: soft, medium or hard, which assumedly refers to the cooking times. I always order them medium but to tell you the truth I probably wouldn’t know the difference either way. Opting for something different and a bit more adventurous to my usual choice I ordered the Yusen described as Sio Ramen in Seafood and Vegetable Based Soup with Milk and Cheese Flavour with House Made Salmon Flakes (AU$11.80) from the Season Special menu.
Milk and cheese flavours in a bowl of Asian noodles, well any old noodles for that matter, was a bit different but like I said I was being adventurous. The salmon flakes went well with the dish and I ordered an extra spoon of chilli for AU$0.50 to add to my bowl of noodles.
MW ordered the Ikemen which is Tonkotsu with a hint of Delicious Crushed Garlic, Special Garlic Oil, Egg and BBQ Pork (AU$11.80). He seemed to be a bit concerned about it since the only noodles that he eats are the Cup of Noodle kind, we can’t all be adventurous with eating out like me but I get the feeling he may have preferred macca’s.
SF ordered the Kurobama which is Tonkotsu with Special Garlic Oil infused for over two hours (AU$8.90) with extra noodles on the side. After a sideways glance from me she wondered if she should have done that as the noodle bowls are pretty filling with the broth. She could barely eat her extra noodles so lucky MW had brought his appetite with him. We all enjoyed our noodles and with SF declaring she would definitely be back.
Ganbaranba Noodle Colosseum is a great place to dine when you are looking for somewhere quaint and unassuming. The noodles are cheap (all bowls under AU$12), the staff are friendly, the service is good and the noodles are tasty. What more could you want? If you haven’t been down to the Noodle Colosseum on Spence St yet I suggest you get your butt down there quick smart to see what you are missing out on.
Ganbaranba Noodle Colosseum
12-20 Spence St, Cairns
Ph: (07) 4031 2522
Opening Hours: Everyday from 11.30am till 10pm