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.

The Don

When you mix cheese with Japanese food, it’s surprisingly good. The Don is one place I’ve noticed using this technique (there’s probably more of this and people need to tell me!). The Don is located on High Street and has been highly recommended in other blogs. I’ve been here a few times and have taken a fair amount of photos. Here goes:

Don - Chicken Namban Don

Chicken Namban Don.

Don - Pork Cheese Katsu Don

Pork Cheese Katsu Don.

The Don - Pork Katsu Don

Pork Katsu Don.

The Don - Soy Sauce Braised Beef Udon

Soy Sauce Braised Beef Udon.

Don - Prawn Cheese

Prawn Cheese.

The Don - Beef Cheese Roll

Beef Cheese Roll.

To save writing up prices of the meals that will certainly confuse you all; the meals costs $11 or $11.50, the Pork Katsu Don and Beef Udon at the higher end. The side dishes (tapas) such as the Prawn Cheese and Beef Cheese Roll cost $7 and $6.50 respectively. So expect to pay around that per side dish, which isn’t too bad. Oh, they’re only available after 5pm.

Overall, I’m impressed with the dishes. No disappointment on my visits there and environment is good for a quiet meal. The pricing and quality of the dishes are above average with just the right amount of variety. My rating is 8.5/10. The cheese can be overwhelming (and I believe fattening). A must try though. =)

Royal Buffet

A random one for the month. I went to this place with friends and was quite disappointed.

Royal Buffet is a newly opened restaurant, located on Short Street in Newmarket, opposite T Mark.  To compete with the neighbouring restaurants, for instance $10 pizza/pasta/salad lunch at Archie’s, Royal Buffet offers $12 Buffet lunch and $25 main buffet. Not a bad move.

I am not a fan of buffets, and I think I’ll never be. But decided to give it a try because the main buffet is advertised as having top chefs cooking the best cuisine and providing a variety of food. The cost was $25 per person. The initial look of the place looked OK, but realised it was below average and with limited variety after spending 15 mins in there. The items were not very good – chicken curry hardly has any meat, no real fish in their sushi variety, low quality instant coffee. Some of the stuff were alright, for example miso soup, frice rice, deep fried squid and japanese cold noodle.

The place truly lacked variety and for the amount you pay, it’s not worth it. Also, during dining there was a very unhappy couple who complained about the food (which is fair). But poor guys, they got chased out.

My rating is a 0/10. It’s crap. Not worth it at all.

Saigonz


Finally, another decent Vietnamese restaurant in town. Saigonz is apparently a new Vietnamese restaurant on Beach Road. It’s quite near Foodtown, but parking is difficult to find like any place in the city. I think the place caters for the nearby businesses and residents. Just by initially looking at the place, which is small with only a few tables and with their dishes served in plastic bowls. Their menu is small, which makes decision making somewhat easier. They have a website, and  even an 0800 number (0800 SAIGONZ).

Anyway, the dishes sampled are shown below:

Saigonz - Beef Pho 

Beef Pho.

Saigonz - Lemon Grass Chicken Rice 

Lemon Grass Chicken on Rice.

Saigonz - Lemon Grass Chicken Curry 

Lemon Grass Chicken Curry.

Saigonz - Pork & Prawn Summer Rolls 

Pork and Prawn Summer Rolls.

 All of the above dishes cost $9.50, except the rolls, which cost $7.00.  I have to admit, all the dishes tasted great! The only niggle is the plastic dishes they were served in. A bit too takeaway-ish for me, but I guess that’s what the business is catered/designed for. I was hoping the rolls would be cheaper, perhaps like $4 or $5. Perhaps we need more Vietnamese immigrants like Melbourne. =)

My rating is a very favourable 9/10. It’s something new, the flavours and pricing do not disappoint. The rolls could be cheaper but I guess they’re one of two Vietnamese restaurants in town.

Full House Korean Restaurant

Ahhh. Not another Korean restaurant. Yes, another one.

Full House Korean Restaurant is hidden on Eliott Street. You’ve gotta really spot it. Initially, you’d think it’s a strip club with all the neon lights outside and it’s apparently underground. The selection of this place is based on the fact that the bloody Atrium foodcourt was closed. Plus, it was a “recommendation” from a work colleague.

Two usual dishes were sampled. Have a look.

full-house-korean-restaurant-bbq-pork-on-rice 

BBQ Pork with Rice.

full-house-korean-restaurant-potato-and-pork-rib-soup-on-rice 

Potato and Pork Rib Soup with Rice.

full-house-korean-restaurant-side-dishes 

Side Dishes.

Both of the main dishes were $12. I thought the BBQ Pork tasted quite good. It was flavoursome and dry. Soup was OK. The pricing was OK also, a bit on the “premium” side for another run of the mill Korean restaurant. Furthermore, they limit the side dishes due to recession (stated on the menu and entrance). I thought that was pretty cheeky considering that they were already charging $12. Personally, it wasn’t too bad, but nothing special.

My rating is 7/10. Same old same old. There are more places which are cheaper. But good to try if you really can’t walk towards Queen St for the hundreds of Korean restaurants there (and cheaper).

ATT Cafe

In between two highly-rated places (Mentatz and Pho Vietnamese) on Lorne Street is the ATT Cafe.  A quick glance at this cafe, it looks more like a canteen. I thought I’d give this place a try, no harm when you’re hungry and sick of going to the same old place. A couple of dishes were sampled as shown below:

att-cafe-deep-fried-chicken-drumstick-noodle-soup

Deep Fried Chicken Drumstick Noodle Soup.

att-cafe-garlic-gravy-pork-on-rice

Garlic Gravy Pork on Rice.

Both dishes cost $9.50, which is quite cheap. The noodle soup did taste a bit plain, I wish there some kinda sauce that could boost up the flavour. However, the rice wasn’t bad. I can’t really say much, because it was just a meal. Not gourmet or anything at all. Apparently, they do deliveries within the city.

A rating is hard to justify, but it’s average. Not bad but not good, 7/10.