Ryo’s noodles

I experience FOMO a LOT, especially when my cousin and sister are surrounded by ramen restaurants and I am not. So when I was last in Sydney, I headed straight to Ryo’s noodles where both of them had been recently.

We arrived around 1:10pm on a Sunday to be greeted by a short line, I started to panic as they shut at 2pm but the line only took 20 minutes to get through. img_9370Maybe I’ll bring someone who can read Japanese with me next time, I hope this is just the menu in Japanese and that I’m not missing out on something awesome.#1 Tonkotsu ramen in salt flavoured soup with roast pork, shallots and sesame seeds ($13.00). I don’t eat the egg and nori so I wanted the basic ramen; it was easy to order for our table, ‘we will have three number ones please’. In a matter of minutes our order arrived. The broth was magical, the noodles were perfect and so was the tender pork. I really enjoyed the broth because it wasn’t really fatty and thick.Gotta love a broth where you can’t see the bottom of the spoon.Home-made pork bun ($4.50). I couldn’t help but try one of their home-made buns, the bun came out fresh and hot with a soft fluffy texture. The pork filling surprised me because it had a pulled pork texture.  Excuse the mangled mess, I ripped it in half to share with my Mumsy.This place is TINY. I can see why there is a wait, the food is delicious but there also not a lot of space to put many tables and chairs.We were in and out in 22 minutes. We weren’t pressured to leave but it was a tight squeeze in the restaurant with people waiting to be seated right next to us. We came for delicious rich tonkotsu ramen and that’s what we got, this is not a place to sit down and catch up.

There is also another Ryo’s noodles located in Bondi Junction.

Venue: Ryo’s Noodles

Address: 125 Falcon St, Crows Nest NSW 2065

Phone: (02) 9955 0225

Ryo's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Uncle Tetsu

If you some how haven’t heard, Uncle Tetsu opened up their first Australian flagship store in Sydney earlier this year and the lines are notoriously long, you’re only allowed to buy one cake per person (yes you read that right) and they only have four items on the menu.

Uncle Tetsu’s menu.I was lucky enough to go during an obscure time while waiting for a restaurant reservation (around 7:20pm on a Sunday night) and basically walked right in but not long after a queue started forming out of no where!

As I was outside taking  photos of my goodies, all these people started queuing.Signature Japanese cheesecake world famous soft and fluffy light cheesecake ($17.99). We took it home to enjoy and we had it both ‘cool’ and ‘warm’ (microwave a slice for 10 seconds) but we both preferred it warm because it seem to have more flavour. I really enjoyed the light fluffy texture that is unique to Japanese cheesecakes but I wish it a stronger flavour.You can easily finish a whole cheesecake by yourself because Japanese cheesecakes are light and fluffy. Here is an obligatory cross sectional photo.Honey Madeleine nostalgic Japanese honey cupcakes (4 pack $15.00). These we dense cakes that had a subtle honey aftertaste. Nothing particularly special and I wouldn’t get them again.My verdict? I wouldn’t line up for this but if someone brought some to share, I wouldn’t say no. If you have never had a Japanese cheesecake, you must go out and get one now!

Venue: Uncle Tetsu

Address501 George Street, Sydney, Australia

Opening hours: 7 days 11:00am – 11:00pm
Uncle Tetsu’s Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Pepper Lunch launch

I was lucky enough to be invited to the Food Blogger Pepper Lunch launch thanks to a lovely friend Fran (go check out her awesome blog here) and the generous owners of Pepper Lunch Canberra. They offered each blogger and their guest a main, a side, a drink and a dessert, although our meals were complimentary all opinions are our own.Pepper Lunch is bringing Japanese DIY Teppan to Canberra! Meals come out on a 260C hot plate and you cook the meat to your liking. Here is their ‘how to guide’:When we received our meal, the polite staff apologised for the wait when in fact we barely waited at all. I hope it is always this fast!

Classic beef pepper rice (a la carte $9.90). I couldn’t go to Pepper Lunch and not try their signature dish. The beef cooked really fast and was tasty but I felt the rice needed more sauce. Luckily there are two sauces on the table which included a sweet sauce and a garlic sauce (shake before use) that I added to my liking.Edit  Curry chicken pepper rice (a la carte $11.20). I really loved the curry sauce and I’ve decided that the next time I go, I’m getting something with that sauce!Shimofuri ‘porterhouse’ pepper steak (a la carte $16.90). The Food Marshall said that it was seasoned to perfection but it had a bit of gristle through it. She found TimmyC’s dish had better marbling.Giant rib eye steak (a la carte $24.90). This steak was noticeably bigger than the porterhouse but it was in the ‘giant’ section of the menu. I found this steak really delicious and ‘melt in your mouth’. It is on the more expensive end when compared with other menu items especially if you make it into a meal. You can make any a la carte menu item into a meal which includes one regular drink and one regular side for $4.90.

Regular sides: rice/chips/miso soup/shake shake salad.

Premium sides: onion rings/sweet potato wedges.All the sundaes have the same ice cream base but they are covered in different toppings. There are four flavours: chocolate nut crush, caramel swirl, green tea delight and black seasame; they  currently don’t have the black sesame flavour yet but they ensure me it is coming. I really enjoyed the caramel swirl and I really wanted to love the green tea delight but the flavour was so subtle, it was almost non existent. I hoping they adjust it and it will be better in the future.It was getting toasty warm inside the restaurant between all the people and 260C plates, so I imagine the restaurant will be a popular place to be this winter.

They have a loyalty card, the more you eat the better the reward!They are really trying to ensure that things run smoothly with the restaurant having a soft opening for the next few days to train staff and slowly ease their way in before trading normal hours (see below).

Venue:Pepper Lunch (Canberra)

Address: Shop 3 (next to Oliver Brown) 88-96, Bunda Street, Opposite Canberra Centre, Civic,  ACT

Phone: (02) 6152 0565

Opening hours: The next few days Pepper Lunch will have a soft opening, so hours will vary but they will roughly be lunch 12pm – 3pm dinner 6pm – 9pm

Sunday – Thursday 11:30am – 9:30pm

Friday – Saturday 11:30am – 10:30pm

Lilotang

It was only by chance that I found out that Lilotang even existed when I was browsing through my Instagram and Mount Majura Vineyard said that they were dropping off some of their TSG. Not long after, I found some friends to go with on opening night to see what they had to offer.2015/01/img_8658.jpgThey have a detailed drinks list with an extensive range of sake, but I felt that this was wasted on us because none of us were drinking.2015/01/img_8666.jpgWe were being lead to our table, I love the funky decor of this place. The large mobile panels reminds me of Lanterne rooms.

2015/01/img_8661.jpgThe table is set with all the utensils that you need to eat dinner.2015/01/img_8662.jpgSmall~ small plates to share2015/01/img_8676.jpg

Chargrilled cold eggplant with creamy sesame sauce ($12.50). This was a punch in the face. This dish has very bold pungent flavours of chargrilled-ness (am I making up words now?) and sesame. I found the chargrilled flavours to be too harsh and my friend described it perfectly when he said it was like he had just eaten a cigarette. Even though the flavours didn’t seem so strong after my second piece, I won’t be ordering this again.2015/01/img_8677.jpgRoast Umami vegetables with orange miso in orange pot ($11.50). I must admit I ordered this mainly based on looks but thankfully it was also really nice. A little orange is hollowed out to house uniformly cut vegetables which have a delicate miso flavour to them.2015/01/img_8682.jpg

2015/01/img_8683.jpgSauteed Edamame with shichimi salt ($8.00). This is the quintessential Japanese dish to have while drinking or as an addictive snack. I really liked these and the shichimi salt took it to another level; the chilli heat slowly builds but you cannot stop yourself from eating more.2015/01/img_8680.jpgChicken Namban-zuke with spicy tartar ($16.50). Not many people were a fan of cold chicken and it might seem like an odd description but when smothered into the creamy sauce, this dish reminded me of a potato and egg salad. That might not sound typically Asian or what you’re into but I really liked it, although it is a small bowl for that price.2015/01/img_8687.jpgThere were more patrons hidden behind the walls, the place was filling up and the pace of the food became slower because of it.2015/01/img_8690.jpgRobata~ Everything comes in pairs

Seeing how the yakitoris measure up against each other. There was a clear winner.2015/01/img_8704.jpg

Chicken thigh, inherited homemade yakitori sauce ($11.00). Your typical ‘meat on a stick’ from Japan, it was the more traditional tasting one out of them all.2015/01/img_8696-0.jpgChicken meat ball, creamy egg ($13.50). We were instructed to break the egg and use it to dip the chicken meatball. This dish has lots of yummy savoury flavours and I really enjoyed the onion chunks which gave the chicken meat ball more texture.2015/01/img_8700.jpgDipping my chicken meat ball pieces into the lovely molten egg.2015/01/img_8705.jpgPork belly, yuzu kosho miso ($9.50). I didn’t like the taste of the yuzu kosho miso by itself, you could taste the citrus flavours and something else that we couldn’t describe but when eaten all together it works well, although it was probably my least favourite yakitori comparatively.2015/01/img_8697.jpgWagyu sirloin, wasabi soy ($16.50). We  all saved this one for last on our plates. The Wagyu was ridiculously tender and the wasabi was subtle; the paired flavours work really well together. Despite the price, I was ready to order another serve.2015/01/img_8698.jpgSweet corn ($8.50). There was a fair wait before our corn arrived which is unusual because it just looked and tasted like char grilled corn, not exciting at all, I wouldn’t bother (I really gotta stop ordering corn from restaurants).2015/01/img_8706.jpgMains~ meant for sharing

BBQ Wagyu Okonomiyaki Japanese style savoury pancake ($29.00). This dish contains no octopus but a small amount of prawns just a FYI for people with allergies. For all those who can eat this must do so immediately.

I love how they have added a lot of red cabbage which almost gave it the same texture (and almost the same colour) as octopus. The more filling of the dishes and it is topped with all the yummy sweet sauce, mayonnaise and dried fish flakes. The BBQ Wagyu pieces gave it a big surge of saltiness but there really wasn’t that many pieces to go around.2015/01/img_8718.jpgChargrilled Wagyu sirloin marinated in Japanese Herb miso ($48.00). I ran into some other friends who were at another table and they loved this dish so much that they ordered two more serves immediately, based on this I had high expectations of this dish before it arrived on our table. Watching my friends divide three pieces into four serves was interesting (yes only three pieces for that price), but it was only when I started to watch them cut so effortlessly with just a normal dinner knife did I start to comprehend why it was so expensive. This was a really good Wagyu sirloin! The meat was well marbled, it was tender and just lightly seasoned to not take anything away from its natural flavours. I know they encourage sharing the plates but I was tempted not to.2015/01/img_8725.jpg2015/01/img_8723.jpgOh my, so juicy! Check out that marbling.2015/01/img_8730-2.jpgPork spare rib, black pepper balsamic soy ($30.50). I could really taste a strong Chinese wine flavour to this pork and not much of a black pepper balsamic soy that they claimed to have. Nothing really interesting here just a plate of meat, although they did offer steamed rice if we wanted some. My friends on the other table ordered lamb and they really enjoyed that, maybe I’ll try that next time.2015/01/img_8728-2.jpgThere was a wooden motif throughout the restaurant which was carried on through to the bathrooms, btw mind your step!2015/01/img_8693.jpgDessert~ You would think with only two dessert items on the menu that we would have this covered, but I couldn’t convince anyone to have a dessert with me. It took so long to arrive that one of my friends couldn’t wait any longer and left. In the end we waited 30 minutes for a dessert that was cold and looked like it pre-prepared already.

Houji tea smooth pudding with sweet potato ($12.50). I didn’t know what to expect from this dessert because I wasn’t exactly sure what I ordered. What arrived was a cold individual ‘cup’ containing a very smooth pudding with a texture of a crème caramel. This is a very Asian dessert because of the green tea flavours as well as not being too sweet (or barely sweet at all really). At first it had a strong green tea taste but by the second or third mouthful, the flavours mellow out in your mouth. The sweet potato was very sweet and complimented the green tea flavours.2015/01/img_8731-1.jpg

2015/01/img_8735-1.jpg2015/01/img_8736-2.jpgThere were a few hiccups which is expected for the opening night but things ran seemingly smooth for most of the service. There were a few hit and misses between the dishes and between us there were mixed feelings about the restaurant. I personally thought there were enough ‘hits’ to warrant a return visit in the near future although it wouldn’t be cheap. At the end of the night it ended up being $70 pp without alcohol. That might sound expensive at first but I was reminded that we spent basically the same at Akiba. I left content borderline full but I did enjoy the amount of variety that we got to experience because of the structure of the menu.

I wouldn’t have associated some of these dishes to being Asian let alone Japanese but I would recommend you come here and try a variety of dishes.2015/01/img_8673.jpgCheck out FoodPornJournal’s Lilotang visit here, she ordered some different dishes but she too could not resist Wagyu and wasabi. 😉

Venue: Lilotang

Address1 Burbury Close Barton, ACT

Phone: (02) 62731424

Websitehttp://lilotang.com.au/

Lilotang Japanese on Urbanspoon

Grill & Sizzle Fusion

When I wrote that there was a new restaurant that had opened in Dickson recently, I couldn’t remember for the life of me what the owner(?) said the type of cuisine was, all I remembered was that they said Japanese style of food with charcoal skewers and… PASTA! That was the eureka moment I had while I browsed through Grill & Sizzle Fusion‘s menu the day after I had discovered that this place had even existed. That’s a weird combination I thought (the same type of reaction I had when I went first went to Digress). Needless to say, I wasn’t going to order pasta from a heavily Asian influenced menu.

Inside the restaurant was a spacious setting, you could tell that they had spent a lot of time and money refitting the restaurant that was once the run down Jimmy’s Place but I thought the decor didn’t really suit the restaurant. They had elaborate lighting, gold seats and an uncomfortable looking couch that bordered one side of the restaurant, it was almost like walking into a flash nightclub during the day.

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20140209-221851.jpgThe first thing I thought about the menu was ‘whoa, this place is expensive’, considering I convinced my friend to come here with me even though our first choice was a <$13.00 meal from across the road, but we were open to trying somewhere new so we sat down and browsed through the menu more thoroughly.

We each received a complimentary salad and seaweed.20140209-203811.jpgJapanese crumbed curry chicken served with + bowl of rice ($17.80). My friend’s chicken curry set also came with a bowl of rice and three pieces of small sushi. The chicken was nice and crispy; it was an Asian version of a chicken schnitzel but with panko crumbs which was what I expected, but what was very underwhelming and disappointing was the curry sauce it self. It had a heavy taste of onion and gravy-ish/curry sauce with a strong aftertaste of pepper, I would have usually complained that the sauce portion was so small but this time it might have been a good thing.20140209-203842.jpgMy friend’s curry set came with a serve of three petite sushi pieces (she was too quick with her chopsticks before I took a photo).20140209-205045.jpgDiced Wagyu with seasonal vegetable fried rice ($17.80). When they say diced, they mean it; the Wagyu pieces were not much bigger than a pea. Overall there wasn’t much taste to the fried rice (although the garnish of seaweed paper was strong), the only saving grace was that it was served nice and hot. Between my bowl of rice and pieces of sushi (more rice), I was too full to finish my fried rice but for the price I paid for it, I took the rest with me.20140209-221741.jpgPrawn tempura roll (6 pieces $14.80 but they gave us 8 pieces?).The greedy girl inside of me wanted to see if their sushi was any good, plus it was probably a good thing considering I don’t think my friend was going to get full from that chicken curry set and I got bored just eating fried rice pretty quick. The prawn tempura was still slightly warm but the coating was nice and crunchy, giving each mouthful different textures. The caviar was juicy and burst in your mouth with every bite. This dish came out last and I have to say, it was the best part of our meal hands down.20140209-221753.jpgPrawn tempura, avocado, tamagoyaki and a crab stick all neatly packaged in a sushi roll covered in juicy caviar.20140209-221811.jpg

I understand trying to fuse food from different cuisines together to make something new but I think Grill & Sizzle Fusion seem to have been confused in the process, it is really just a mish mash of different types of food thrown together on a menu with Chinese translations.

I think if they want to stay competitive in the foodie area that is Dickson, they will have to come up with some decently priced lunch specials and have a more clear view of what kind of food they want to serve or create some cleverly fused unique foods. If anyone is brave enough to order pasta in a Japanese influenced restaurant run by Chinese people, let me know how it goes.

Venue: Grill & Sizzle Fusion

Address: 13 Woolley St, Dickson ACT 2602

Phone: (02) 6262 6669

Grill & Sizzle Fusion on Urbanspoon

I spy with my little eye… Something new in Dickson

I was getting my roast duck and pork fix today when I spotted a new restaurant in Dickson, across the road where Jimmy’s Place used to be.

Grill & Sizzle Fusion left me with many questions as they had no indication of what cuisine it was from the sign nor a takeaway menu. I went in to find a spacious dining area and friendly wait staff. They explained to me that they haven’t received the printed take away menus yet and when I asked them when they had opened, today was their first day (what a coincidence!). They explained that they have Japanese influenced food including charcoaled skewers (I guess that is where the sizzle comes in?), I’m not sure what all that means but I’m keen to come here and try the food. If anyone beats me to it, I’d love to hear what you think.

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