Food-loving travellers often marvel at the culinary bounty exhibited within Japan’s expansive train stations. Commuters regularly cram into any available spot at countless hole-in-the-wall noodle joints, slurping and savouring piping-hot bowls of goodness before going on their way. It’s these quick-service spots that inspire Brisbane City’s brand-new noodle bar concept IKU, which has opened its Post Office Square location after months of anticipation. The brainchild of the team behind Newstead’s Reef Seafood & Sushi, IKU has been designed to be a reliable and healthy takeaway option for time-poor inner-city workers. Placed handily in a high-traffic zone at the entrance to the Post Office Square food court, this 20-seater nook is shaping up to be a go-to for fans of Japanese-inspired noodle soups that are a notch lighter than full-bodied bowls of ramen.
IKU’s menu is concise, but offers a considerable level of malleability for its size. Its build-your-own noodle bowls will be the biggest drawcard for the outlet, with diners free to design a dish that suits their tastes. First, one must choose their desired bowl size (regular or large) and then select a style of noodle. The options include soft and chewy udon noodles made with wheat flour and water, gluten-free and protein-filled soba noodles, and healthy shirataki noodles. The latter option is almost entirely free of calories and carbohydrates – making it a great choice for those on low-carb ketogenic or grain-free paleo diets. Once the noodles are sorted, pick a protein (black Angus beef, chicken, salmon or vegetables) and a soup base (traditional daishi, curry daishi or miso), then get ready to slurp. If you’re looking to fill the gaps, IKU also has a selection of self-serve sides, ranging from karaage chicken, tempura okura and tempura pumpkin, to rainbow salads, edamame and seaweed salads.
IKU is now open to the public, with a second location at Brisbane Quarter slated for a September arrival. To celebrate its opening, IKU Post Office Square is giving away free bowls over lunch on Wednesday May 15, between 12:00–2:00 pm. Head to the Stumble Guide for opening hours.