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

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

Akiba re-run

I did intend on returning to Akiba but not this soon, this was all TimmyC’s doing, he was super keen! Despite the bad weather, we head in with enthusiasm and we giggle when we are seated in our previous seats with the same server from our first visit (see my previous blog post here).

Here is the menu, this time complete with prices.IMG_7690.JPGNatural oyster, ume mignonette (4 pieces $10.00). All of the oysters were still anchored down in the shell so when I tried to one shot my oyster, I ended up sucking all the mignonette and then having to go back and set my oyster free, which by then was then just an oyster. Bits of the shell did break off so I had to spit them out after eventually getting to the oysters. Instead of four quick shots of oysters, it ended up being a little bit more effort than I thought it would be and the flavours weren’t particularly amazing.IMG_7692.JPGKingfish sashimi, coconut, nam jim, coriander ($12.00). We loved this dish during our first visit but this time it was much hotter and it caught TimmyC off guard. I still really liked it but TimmyC couldn’t eat much more after his first bite.IMG_7693.JPGYellowfin tuna, organic Japanese soy, wasabi panna cotta ($14.00). I had forgotten that there was supposed to be a wasabi panna cotta until I re-read the menu just now. I didn’t notice this component and to me this was just a really nice sashimi.IMG_7699.JPG

IMG_7698.JPGSteamed prawn and chicken dumpling, chilli oil, black vinegar dressing (4 pieces $10.00). I thought this was a really nice dumpling and I really enjoyed the black vinegar, but I didn’t think there was anything special about this dish.IMG_7696.JPGPork belly bao, char sui, asian slaw ($8.00). Wow, what a turn around in almost every aspect. The cut of pork was much more suited to fill the bao, the bao itself was much nicer but still not perfect; they are now made in-house rather than brought in from Sydney. There was definitely a bit of everything within each bite which makes it easier to stomach the steep price attached (Ippudo buns are $4 a pop).IMG_7694.JPGThe bun is brimming with excitement and it can barely contain itself.IMG_7705.JPGIMG_7710.JPGSweet corn pancake, chilli caramel, togarashi ($4.00).

Kimchi and angasi pancake, kewpie mayo, sirracha, ittogaki (4.00). I liked how you can just order one pancake as this allowed us to explore more of the options. Both were really nice but I think we liked the kimchi and angasi pancake more comparatively because it had more bold flavours.IMG_7703.JPGIMG_7704.JPGSmokey roast potato, pecorino custard, smoked eel teriyaki ($5.00). “Here’s your one potato”, I giggled at the introduction of our dish. I’m surprised that TimmyC ate and liked this because he isn’t a big fan of cheese. The potato was super super crispy, the pecorino custard wasn’t over powering and a unique concept and the eel helped bring everything together. I really liked this and was very tempted to order another.IMG_7701.JPGWe had ordered 8 items that we requested not to be staggered out, I wanted to see how fast the service could be and TimmyC was very hungry. Between ordering and receiving our last dish it was definitely super fast; I’m going to guesstimate under 10 minutes, but my stomach, mouth and photography couldn’t keep up and I probably wouldn’t do this again unless there was a whole group of us and we were all really hungry.

Caribbean chicken bao,  charred pineapple, kewpie mayo ($8.00). We got greedy. We wanted to try a little bit more; TimmyC wanted another pork bao and I wanted something that we hadn’t tried before, so we compromised and chose this. Although the chicken was super moist and tender, I didn’t think that the pineapple was charred but more importantly I didn’t see how these flavours in the bao work together. I didn’t like it.IMG_7713.JPG

IMG_7711.JPGCharred asparagus, uni butter, seaweed powder ($14.00). The asparagus itself was nicely cooked and the butter tasted lemony and almost had a cheesey flavour. This was cooked in their very big fancy oven (which was very $$$) but I don’t see how it is any better than me cooking it at home in a pan with butter, salt and pepper.IMG_7714.JPGTea smoked duck ham, gruyere custard, umeboshi and rosemary ($7.00). This was almost unrecognisable as a duck flavour, it was more familiar in my mouth as a cured pork product that has a really nice smokey flavour. I’m not completely sold on all the flavours and compared to other menu items, I probably wouldn’t order this again but TimmyC liked it.IMG_7720.JPGTo give you a size comparison, I took a wider shot against my water glass.IMG_7722.JPGChocolate tart, pickled strawberry ($9.00). It wasn’t as great as the first time that we had it; I felt that the soft chocolate tart component had more coffee flavours with harsh bitter after taste.IMG_7724.JPG

IMG_7726.JPGHand crafted pottery is slowly coming in as the training wheels are coming off.IMG_7723.JPGAfter having eaten most of the menu, I still really enjoy Akiba but I definitely have ‘go to’ dishes and other ones that I probably won’t bother with. I cannot wait to see their breakfast menu!

Akiba

If you had asked me earlier in the day what I was doing on Saturday night, I would have told you that I was going to sleep off the food coma that I was about to be induced in after heading home from a 24hr interstate return trip.

I did not expect to drive back from Wollongong and immediately proceed to the doors of Akiba and line up for 45 minutes in the miserable weather, but that is exactly what TimmyC and I did after I had read the following Facebook post from HerCanberra:

I’m blaming HerCanberra and Eileen from The Food Avenue for enticing me to wanting to go to Akiba that night.

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What happened next was quite embarrassing, I hopefully will eventually learn to laugh at the situation, but for now I’m cringing every time I think about it. I accidentally stood at the front of the line thinking it was the back. The lovely people who were actually indeed in front of the line and had started waiting before 5pm, were very sweet not to swear at me as I innocently stood in front of them and started chatting to another 101localhuman as well as star food blogger Eileen (The Food Avenue). It wasn’t until I asked Eileen ‘how many people do you think are in front of you?’ did I realise my mistake. I proceeded to then squeeze in with Eileen and her partner who were second in line and I didn’t stop feeling guilty until I knew that everyone that was in line before the opening, was easily within the first 100 people *phew*. I think the weather put off a few people because 45 minutes after the opening, people that just came in were still within the first 100 people, which meant they got 6 dishes for free.IMG_7617.JPGWe could see the staff being briefed inside and as it rolled around to 6pm, the door was slowly opened and we were greeted with loud applause, lots of high energy and chants of ‘Akiba’ by the staff. It all felt a bit strange and surreal but it pumped me up before our meal.

There was some confusion with the menu about the portion sizes and prices. First of all there were no prices written on the menu and they had ‘special discounted prices’ on the night for the desserts so I couldn’t tell you if the dumplings were a bargain or if you were better off buying a packet of frozen ones at home. Secondly, some dishes come as a serve (regardless of how many are on the table) and some come as per person, so it might not have been advantageous for the very generous Eileen to allow me to sit at her table.  The food menu is divided into the following headings: raw, dumplings/bao/pancakes/buns, meat and fish, veg and dessert.

A look into the menu of Akiba.IMG_7531.JPGOne of the first to be seated with other patrons followed closely behind, the restaurant fills up fastIMG_7527.JPGA close up of the oyster bar.IMG_7612.JPGDrinks~

Snap, Crackle and Pop punch Ketel One vodka, Rice bubbles infused milk, pineapple and lemon Note: contains no milk ($20.00). This sounded like a really cute drink and I love how the rim of the glass was coated; everyone who tasted it thoroughly enjoyed it.IMG_7538.JPGFukushima Zombie Secret blend of Rums, triple citrus and ginger. For when you need to blow off steam! ($18.00 but we were charged $15.00). This was someone else’s drink but I think the alcohol was very strong in this cocktail.IMG_7540.JPGLychee cider ($10.00). I was surprised to see that this was a local product but I think TimmyC was expecting something a little sweeter.IMG_7539.JPGFood~ With only six dishes for free and no idea about portion sizes, we decided to choose our top 6 and then order again if need be afterwards.

Kingfish sashimi, coconut, nam jim, coriander (one serve 4 pieces). As soon as I took my mouthful, my palette went on a flavour journey, it was rather amazing really. There were so many flavours in the mouthful and I really liked the addition of the coconut cream. It’s a shame that it was the first dish to come because nothing much could compare; this was definitely one of my favourite dishes of the night.IMG_7544.JPGIMG_7545.JPGBeef tartare, pink peppercorn, pickled cucumber, fried egg puree, sweet potato crisp. I wouldn’t have chosen this one personally, but I’m really glad that someone did. The crispy sweet potato acted like a sandwich cover and made it much easier to eat in a few simple bites. You wouldn’t have thought that it was raw meat; dishes like this goes to show that you should try something new and you might be pleasantly surprised.IMG_7548.JPGIMG_7549.JPGIMG_7552.JPGBeef short rib dumpling, preserved lemon, shiitake mushroom, star anise broth (one serve 4 pieces). The filling was very tender and almost like a pulled beef. I was impressed with the size of the dumpling, how thin the wrapper was and the addition of the star anise broth gave it the sauce that it needed to not dry out.IMG_7555.JPGSpiced pork jowl, pan cake, pickled white peach, cucumber, negi. This was oily, potato-ey and salty but I loved every bite. The white peach gave it a sweetness and crunch that helped with the oilyness and it reminded me of my Mum’s potato scallop when I used to wedge it into my hamburger.IMG_7557.JPGIMG_7558.JPGPork belly bao, char sui, asian slaw (one bun per person). This was one of TimmyC’s favourite dishes but I didn’t like it as much. I thought that the filling should maybe have been more uniform across the bun (maybe a wide slice rather than little thick pieces) as there were some mouthfuls that had zero filling and the bun wasn’t as white and fluffy to what I’m used to. The sauce on the pork was salty but well balanced by the asian slaw.IMG_7561.JPGIMG_7563.JPGA closer look of the inside of the bao.IMG_7564.JPGUntil this point, food was coming thick and fast from the kitchen, but they finally must have hit a breaking point because it was a loooooooong time before our last dish arrived. We didn’t mind as we were happily conversing but eventually our chicken arrived.IMG_7543.JPGJ.F.C., lemon braised onions, parmesan (one serving 4 pieces). J.F.C stands for ‘Japanese Fried Chicken’ and as soon as we found that out, it definitely made it to our top 6 dishes. I found it a little disappointing that they didn’t take it to another level like the other dishes and it was actually in fact… Just fried chicken.IMG_7567.JPGHaving two keen bean foodies on the table, it was no surprise that we wanted to order more dishes outside of our 6 free ones; it was for multiple reasons: 1) we wanted to suss out the prices of the meals 2) we wanted to try more from the menu and 3) we weren’t really full from the food so far. We asked our designated waiter how much the dishes were before we ordered them and he came back with the answer of ‘keep it hush hush but if you order two more dishes we’ll also give them to you free’, which really didn’t help us with our first point but we were happy enough to order another two.

There was another long wait before we got our final two savoury dishes and our very kind waiter was profusely apologetic but we didn’t mind at all as we were still happily talking. They gave us an additional complimentary serving of beef short rib dumplings as an apology for the slow kitchen and not long after, our dishes arrived.

It was starting to get really busy inside Akiba.IMG_7569.JPGBeef short rib, tamarind caramel, thai basil (one serve). This was so tender that I’m pretty sure if I sneezed it would have fallen apart. A big chunk of meat that super tender with great savoury flavours.IMG_7611.JPGSoft shell crab bao, pickled baby gem, creamy ponzu (one bun per person). I think in their haste they forgot the creamy ponzu and it definitely needed it. I don’t think I’m in love with their bun because I’ve had better but the soft shell crab itself was crunchy, had a nice meaty component (not just all the crispy legs) and was seasoned well.IMG_7613.JPGThere wasn’t much on one side of my bun.IMG_7616.JPGDessert~ They were giving us a special discount price of $8.00 each but they were unable to tell us how much the desserts would be charged after the official opening.

Chocolate tart, pickled strawberry. There were two parts of the chocolate tart: the hard part which tasted like solid chocolate and a soft velvety part which had delicious caramel coffee notes that everyone wanted to end on.IMG_7621.JPGTofu cheese cake, anzac crumb, pandan jelly. Don’t be put off by the tofu in the cheesecake, it is more for the texture. As non picturesque as it is (comparatively), I really enjoyed it, it was light on the palette and you could really taste the pandan in the jelly; it was a very small serve though. Between the two desserts though, I would probably prefer the chocolate tart because of soft velvety component.IMG_7620.JPGI thought stomach wise, I was just on the borderline of being content but the longer I sat there afterwards, the ‘fuller’ I felt, but admittedly that was after sharing NINE savoury dishes and a dessert. Maybe if you don’t go from brunch straight to dinner (or eat like a normal person), you’ll require less food.

I would like to thank the lovely Eileen (The Food Avenue) so so so much for letting me hijack her table and allowing me to order more food than if it was TimmyC and I (he is useless).

The restaurant sits 152 patrons with outdoor seating eventually to come with another 60 person capacity.

I wouldn’t have minded to sit in a booth; my bum was feeling a little sore after sitting on stools for over two hours.IMG_7626.JPG

IMG_7628.JPGI really liked the food here, despite a few hiccups which is to be expected during the opening of a new restaurant. Akiba has an exciting menu with lots of variations; I will be returning very shortly and I will be keen to find out some prices.

Venue: Akiba

Address: 40 Bunda Street, Civic ACT 2600

Website: http://www.akiba.com.au/

Opening: The official opening is Monday (8th Dec) night. They envisage being open 7 days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The kitchen will close around 10 ish and the place will transition into a bar serving interesting cocktails until early hours of the morning.
Akiba on Urbanspoon

Sushi Tei

When I head to Sydney, I leave it to my sister or cousin to decide where to eat. They always try different cuisines, they know all the new places and they know what I like, so I had no problems when they took me to Sushi Tei in the city.

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They have huge photo books for the menu, it almost felt my Mum was going to read me a bed time story to make me hungry.

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Sushi Sashimi combination plate – tuna, snapper, kingfish, salmon and octopus sashimi, snapper, tuna, salmon, kingfish, scallop, eel, flying fish roe and salmon roe sushi and mini california maki($45.00). Fresh tantalising sashimi and sushi rolls which were served on a huge plate.

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Going through the plate one piece at a time.

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I loved their pickled ginger and they have it on the table so you can have as much as you’d like. image

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Soft shell crab temaki ($6.00). I didn’t taste this hand roll *dirty look at my sister* but it looked fantastic.

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Chashu tonkotsu ramen with sliced roast pork (pork-based or soy sauce-based) ($15.00) – its no Ippudo but it is better than anything we have here in Canberra. 

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Jo Una Ju premium eel on rice ($22.00) Juicy grilled eel on top of a bed of hot rice.

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I don’t think I tried enough food to judge if I loved it enough to brave the terrible traffic and lack of parking in the area but I am definitely wiling to come back again and try more from their menu if someone else drives me. image

Venue: Sushi Tei

Address: 1 Chifley Square, Sydney, NSW 2000

Phone: (02) 9232 7288

Websitehttp://www.sushitei.com.au/

Sushi Tei on Urbanspoon

Brisvegas – Wagaya

Guided only by Google maps and Urbanspoon, we finally find Wagaya nestled upstairs in the Fortitude Valley district. With already a long wall of waiting patrons, I optimistically asked if there was a table for two available with no booking, the wait was going to be 45 minutes (this was at 8pm), but with ratings so high and not knowing where else to eat I was willing to wait. Timmy and I headed down stairs to Venice to kill time and indulged in what was the most heavenly gelato I’ve had in a long time.

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I smile like I’ve just won a raffle as they call me to say that my table was ready, we are lead to a booth and the waitress walks away like we know what we are doing. I was super impressed with their computerised ordering system but there are no room for errors, once you confirm there is no heading back and they have started making it. It is fun and novelty to watch the status of your food go from being made, to being delivered and then at your table.

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I went a bit crazy with the ordering because it was so much fun to browse through their menu and I wanted to try a bit of everything.

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Vegetable tempura ($8.90). To be served hot, crispy and not overly oily is an art form that they have got down pat.

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Spicy chicken wing ($6.50). Readers may know that I have thing for chicken wings but these were truly delicious.

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Scallop and garlic fried rice ($11.50). At first I wasn’t too excited about this but when I found the crispy rice stuck to the bottom my eyes lit up. The heavy weight bowl allows the rice to retain its heat.

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Homemade gyoza ($7.90). Nothing too special but it was served hot and crispy.

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Wagaya Shio ramen ($9.50). Scrumptous ramen with a thick heavy soup base and yummy pork. I would say it needed more pork if I was to nit pick.

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Rainbow roll ($10.90). Fresh sushi with a drizzle of mayo, I didn’t think I could finish it but I did. image

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Creme brulee and ice-cream ($7.50). I thought since everything was so amazing and tasty, I pushed my luck by ordering dessert. It was the most disgusting creme brulee I’ve had at a restaurant. The cream was weird, the ice cream had a terrible ‘hairy’ texture, there was no hard toffee top and the custard lacked any egg or custard flavour.

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Despite the dessert, everything was amazing and it was the best fun meal I’ve had in a long time. Wagaya is very popular and busy, it is best to book ahead and avoid disappointment/wait.

Venue: Wagaya

Address315 Brunswick St Level1 Tcb Centre, Fortitude Valley, QLD 

Phone: (07) 3252 8888

Wagaya on Urbanspoon

I heart IPPUDO

Since my Japan trip, I have forever been chasing a close imitation, ANYTHING to mimic the food (especially the ramen) that I had while I was there. I had heard about Ippudo from my sister and cousin who told me that in the New York store had a waiting time of up to three hours! Lucky for me there was one coming to Sydney so I didn’t have to travel so far and hopefully wouldn’t have to wait as long.

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Ippudo pork bun – steamed bun with braised pork and IPPUDO original sauce ($4.00 each). Ok I haven’t tried the world famous Momofuku pork buns but I was utterly blown away but the softness of the bun (I kept patting it like a new born’s bottom) and they were SOOOOOOOOO GOOD!

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IPPUDO Gyoza Hakata style pan fried dumplings ($6.00 5 pcs). Crispy yummy dumplings.

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I love it when the broth is so thick you can’t see the bottom of the spoon. These were amazing and I drank every last drop! After waiting a long time to get in (thanks for pre-waiting in line for us guys!), it doesn’t take long to decide what you want and receiving your order. The only thing I could fault was that there was not enough pork but that is just me being greedy.

We chose a range of ramens

Shiromaru MotoajiIPPUDO original tonkotsu broth served with thin noodles, pork loin, cabbage, black mushroom and shallots. Classic Hakata-style ramen ($15.00).

Akamaru Shinaji – IPPUDO original tonkotsu broth enhanced with special blended miso paste and fragrant garlic oil. Served with thin noodles, pork belly, black mushroom and shallots. A refined, modern style ramen ($16.00).

Karaka men IPPUDO original tonkotsu broth with special spicy miso and ground pork ($17.00).

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Conclusion: not a hype, very delicious, very fast and very addictive. It saddens me to write this post and not be eating ramen. 

Venue: Ippudo

Address: Level 5 Westfield Sydney 188 Pitt St, Sydney, NSW 2000

Phone: (02) 9573 0011

Ippudō on Urbanspoon

Kokoro

——-26/10/2012——-

I don’t usually make it up to Gungahlin so it is great when friends let you know what’s new and where is good to eat. Kokoro came as a recommendation but I could find next to no information online about where it was and the phone number to book. Lucky for me I have a foodie friend who I knew would definitely have this information.

It was very lucky I went out of my way to find the number to book because this restaurant was packed, which made me more eager to see what this place was all about.

Takoyakioctopus balls ($9.50) Delicious and served nice and hot. I love the texture of octopus in these balls.

Chicken katsu medium rolls 8 pieces ($11.50). The pickled ginger was really delicious and definitely not from a packet. They were generous with their portion of chicken.

Volcanorolled with tempura prawn, cucumber, crab topped with spicy cheese sauce, fresh tuna ball ($21.50). Not very traditional for sushi I know but it came highly recommended so I had to get it. I didn’t think it was too spicy at first, but some bites were hotter than others oddly enough. I couldn’t really distinguish the different ingredients within the sushi, the cheese and spicy sauce were over powering.

Medium sushi set 10 pieces sushi, 6 small rolls ($23.00). We enjoyed the grilled fishes more than the sashimi. I found the tuna sashimi the most unexciting and lacking flavour, other than that everything tasted fresh and tasty.

Who knew you could find decent Japanese at the G! I will be back to order some noodles and Kokoro’s special makisushi.  Thanks for the recommendation Katie!

Venue: Kokoro

Address: Shop 34, The G, Coles shopping centre, 40 Hibberson St, Gungahlin, ACT 2912

Phone: (02) 6241 7450

Opening hours: 11:00am – 10:00pm

Kokoro on Urbanspoon