Genzui Ramen Bar

I forgot to apologise in my last post for not posting regularly, I’ve been lazy. Typical excuse. But it’s holiday time for me now, so perhaps more time for me to post some of my material. Here’s a good place that I strongly recommend, Genzui Ramen Bar. It’s next to the lobby area at the Crowne Plaza on Albert St. It’s a small place but the food packs a good flavour and it’s cheap!

Some samples below:

Spicy Chicken Don.

Shoyu Ramen,

.

Miso Katsu Chicken Don.

Grilled Squid with Miso Paste.

Most rice and ramen dishes hover around $10, portion is good, and taste is great. I don’t normally get the entres or sides, but it’s a bonus since the dishes are quite affordable. Staff is friendly. My favourite dishes here are the spicy chicken don and the curry katsu chicken don. Damn great place, and if they keep it up (the prices and the flavour), they are hard to beat.

My rating 9.5/10. Good on ya! Oh Merry Christmas BTW.

Wagamama (Sylvia Park)

I don’t know what I was thinking, but I popped into Wagamama Sylvia Park the other night while waiting to watch a movie. From the outside it looked like a nice place to eat as I’ve been there before, and I think I had fond memories.

Samples I had below:

Chicken Katsu Curry ($17.50).

Chilli Ramen with Sirloin Steak ($24.50).

Overall, it’s quite average and too pricey. I guess the place does suit some people (apparently it’s fusion) and it’s popular. But I can find better tasting and seriously cheaper Japanese out there.

My apologies to all Wagamama fans, I don’t get this place. Rating 5/10.

Tanpopo

I got recommended by a friend to this place a while ago, it’s Tanpopo around the corner of Anzac Ave and Beach Road. It’s very difficult to spot, and on top of that, it’s hard to find a parking space. Anyway, I had a couple of samples, see below:

Tanpopo - Shio Butter Corn Ramen

Shio Butter Corn Ramen.

Tanpopo - Shio Ramen

Shio Ramen.

The Shio Ramen is $10 and the Shio Butter Corn Ramen is $11.50. There’s really nothing outstanding to say about this place. The environment is kinda plain and that goes with the dishes. Perhaps it’s the lack of variety because they only had ramen and nothing else. The pricing is about the same as any other Japanese ramen shops.  The staff is quite friendly. To me, it wasn’t worth finding a parking for (Sorry!). To be honest, if I was to park around there, I’d just go to Saigonz which has the best Vietnamese noodle soups!

Anyway, my rating is a 7/10. There’s no negatives but no positives as well. Good for ramen if you’re craving that kind of dish in that particular area.

Wagamama (Newmarket)

Fusion is overrated. It’s a good excuse to charge double the price of a typical Asian meal. But that’s what I think. 🙂

Wagamama seems quite popular as I see the Link Bus ads all the time (brainwashed?). This particular one I popped into is on Nuffield St in Newmarket. There are others in the CBD and Sylvia Park. Anyway, samples below:

Wagamama - Koumi Chicken

Koumi Chicken.

Wagamama - Ramu Kare Lomen

Ramu Kare Lomen.

Wagamama - Tori Kara age

Tori Kara Age.

Pricing-wise, the Koumi Chicken was $18 and Ramu Kare Lomen was $18.50. Note, first choice for the chicken meals weren’t available for some reason, so selection was limited for that night (not good).  The Tori Kara Age was $10. The Koumi Chicken was very plain, which was very disappointing. For the price, it was not worth it. The Ramu Kare Lomen was not bad, as I was a fan of coconut-based curry. The Tori Kara Age was also not bad. Overall, taste-wise, nothing to worship about.

I thought their pricing was a bit too much but they were fusion, so they could do anything they want in terms of price. Perhaps the environment was the reason to go to Wagamama, but I didn’t feel it.

My rating is 6/10. Wagamama ain’t worth it unless you have a voucher to burn, or you really can’t find anything else open (they seem to open quite late).

Kiraku Japanese Restaurant

If you ever wanted a very light meal in town but in a cramp condition – try Kiraku. It’s located on Elliott Street, near the Atrium on Eliott. The selection is pretty good and friendly staff. Some dishes sampled are shown below:

copy-of-kiraku-teriyaki-chicken-ramen  

Teriyaki Chicken Ramen.

  copy-of-kiraku-pork-gyoza

Pork Gyoza.

copy-of-kiraku-jap-curry-on-rice

Japanese Curry Chicken on Rice.

The first two dishes came as a combo for $14.50. The curry chicken rice is $10. I quite like it even though there isn’t much “material” i.e. light. As for taste, it’s good. My rating is 8/10.

A good place for a quick and light meal.

Mentatz

By now you’ve probably figured out that I “hang out” in town. Yes, very true, mainly because I work smack in the middle of the city, unlike my previous job.

Anyway, tried Mentatz, which is another Japanese ramen-ish place located in Lorne Street. It’s somewhere near Esquires. To be honest, my first few times here was average. I think because I tried to be adventurous and chose the non-standard ramen. On this particular occassion, we chose the basics – Shoyu Ramen (the 1st choice) and Katsudon. Both for under $10 (I believe.) Bah, it’s cheap anyway.

Picture below:

Katsu Don.

Shoyu Ramen.

Personally, these two dishes above are fantastic. Tasted great and it’s frickin’ cheap. I guess the only negative part is that it can be quite busy. I don’t really have much to say but to rate it 9/10.  A cheap eat after work or uni. =)

Also, right at the end of Lorne Street is a Korean pan cake shop. Here is a link with more pictures. I tried the cheese pancake before for $3 and it tasted great. It’s like pizza! They have a ham and cheese as well. I am not too sure about the chicken/beef ones. But you can tell it’s popular, there’s always a line!

Ramen Daikoku

For you train commuters to the CBD, you should know this place. It’s right next to it (Britomart)!!!

Here’s the story, I was a bit tired after work on Friday and decided that I wanted something light. First thing that popped into my head – Japanese. I looked around and all the sushi shops were closed, not that I wanted sushi, I wanted to see if they had soup dishes. Then, there were the yakitori restaurants (if you know yum cha – it’s similar). But the problem with yakitori restaurants is that their dishes tend to be small and overpriced, something I don’t recommend. I still don’t understand why people go there – but hey, it’s a free world and my apologies if I’ve offended you. I just think that there are better ways to spend money. =)

Tonkotsu Ramen.

Shio Buttercorn Ramen.

For this particular outing, we ordered the above dishes. The tonkotsu ramen is a special dish (apparently for that month) and it’s a spicy dish. Cost about $11 from memory. The shio buttercorn ramen is a special variation of the standard ramen at $8.90. The dishes were light on meat (which is not a bad thing), tasty soup and plenty of noodles. Another dish that I tried here before is the curry ramen, which is quite tasty. Price-wise, you’ll be expecting to pay around $10. The staff are very friendly – greeting everyone who comes in and out (in Japanese!).

My rating for this place, 9/10. Good price, tasty, light and friendly. Only issue, if you’re driving to this place – forget about it.