Posts Tagged ‘Japanese Food’

Shoryu Ramen was launched in November 2012 by the team at Japan Centre and Shoryu have quickly gained a following for their ramen. They now have locations spread across Carnaby, Regent St and Soho. If ramen wasn’t enough, they also dish up¬†the very popular¬†hirata buns, sushi, sashimi and yakitori as part of their sides menu. Recommended in the Michelin Guide 2014 and 2015, Shoryu have come head to head with the likes of Bone Daddies and Tonkostu Ramen. These are the three amigos that are dominating the Soho food scene with their ramen. What makes Shoryu really special is that they¬†specialise in the Hakata style tonkotsu ramen from the Hakata district of Fukuoka city of Japan. They promise that this is a bonafide tonkotsu ramen which you will rarely find outside of Japan. Thanks to Executive Chef Kanji Furukawa, who was born and raised from the region. Londoners can now¬†enjoy the Hakata style ramen made with a thick, rich, white pork soup and thin, straight ramen noodles. This style of ramen is my absolute favourite, so I am really looking forward to see what Shoryu has to offer.

barbeque char siu pork hirata buns

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Ramen has the power to polarise people to cause widespread debate on “Where to find the best ramen?” and boy will we hunt it down. It is Japanese soul food at its core and has developed from the humble streets of Japan to achieve a cult-like status.

Since its grand opening, Ippudo has been hot on everyones lips.

“Is it as good as they say?” (See previous post).

Whether you agree or disagree, Ippudo has to be said and done.

I was invited to return to Ippudo to take on a crash course ramen 101 session and to learn more about the Ippudo experience. There was also the offer to try all their ramen. How could I refuse.

Dress with expandable waistline?? Check!

collage fpn

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Ippudo has quickly become to what some would consider as legend. Conquering the likes of New York, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Seoul, Shanghai. Ippudo has firmly found its place in Sydney’s Westfield. Since its opening it has quickly drawn in the crowds and cult following with its signature ramen and pork buns.

ippudo - close ramen

Ippudo specialises in Tonkostu ramen and offers up 3 variations of this:

  • Akamaru shinaji¬†(above): the recipe is 25 years old and includes miso, garlic oil, pork belly, black mushrooms, bean sprouts and shallots ‚Äď the Tonkotsu broth is slow cooked with pork bones to add extra depth of flavour
  • Shiromaru motoaji: Tonkotsu broth served with Hakata ultra thin noodles and includes pork loin, black mushrooms, cabbage & shallots
  • Karaka men: Tonkotsu broth with Hakata wavy noodles and includes spicy miso paste with ground pork

You can also specify the firmness of your noodles from “soft, medium or firm”. Which is funny because as a child I loved them soggy but as I have gotten older, I have graduated up to medium and now firm. I love a firm texture! They recommend having it firm but I wonder, how do you like your ramen?

akamaru w flavoured egg

Having tried 2 out of 3 Ramen’s at Ippudo, the Akamaru with flavoured egg ($18) is my absolute favourite. I love the intensity and richness of the broth and every bowl of Ramen always comes down to the broth.

The broth comes positively gleaming with richness and flavour. I am so impatient I quickly go in for the dive and I completely immersed in it. It is sensational.

I also love the fragrant hints of garlic oil and the option to swirl the miso paste into your broth. To do so, lifts the broth to the highest order.  My ramen is firm, adding texture and bite contrasting nicely with the fork tender pork belly that melts. The addition of flavoured egg is luxuriant, oozing its way out. Soft, rich and plump.

ippudo pork bun

The ippudo pork buns ($4) are so delicious, every mouthful is just as delicious as the next. The buns are super soft, the pork is spicy, fatty and tender. Setting itself apart from the creaminess of Japanese kewpie mayo and crisp lettuce leaves. Reminds me a lot of the famous Momofuku pork buns.

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One of the things that I love about my job is that everyone at my office, loves food.

My boss is no exception. We regularly talk about food, new places on our hit list and we constantly share recipes and products.

To celebrate our 3 month milestone together, she decided to surprise me at sushi e.¬†If I had I known, I probably would have brought my camera but then it wouldn’t have been much of a surprise. Nonetheless, I still managed to take photos with my iPhone. Given the quality of the my experience here, I couldn’t resist the temptation of putting a post together for you to see.

prawn shumai

prawn shumai $18.5
chinese influenced steamed prawn dumpling with ponzu dipping sauce

Ms G started our order with the prawn shumai, insisting that it was a sushi e must have. I can see why you wouldn’t want to give these dumplings a miss. The prawn fillings were plump and sweet. The wrappers were thin and delicate with the ponzu perfect for dipping.

goma ae

goma ae $13.5
Japanese spinach salad with sesame paste

The spinach was dressed to impress and coated with the most luscious and nutty sesame paste that brought your bland old spinach to something that is worth longing for.

salmon tartare

salmon tartare $25.0
salmon sashimi combined with onion, lemon and mayo then finished with generous serves of salmon roe and cucumber, then dressed with a wasabi ponzu dressing

Chef Nobuyuki Ira said, “the trick to eating this dish is to mix the tartare and roe until it is completely combined. Then use the deep fried wonton wrappers to scoop up the mix”.

Ms G and I gave each other this pained look, as we couldn’t bear the thought of tearing it apart. (I was also concerned that I wouldn’t get my fair share of roe!)

But we did as we were told. We mixed and we scooped.

The result was absolutely mouthwatering, it was outrageous.The explosive pearls, creamy flesh and wonton crisps made us get over our guilt trip, post-haste. Reminding me distinctively of the sashimi taco at Sake Restaurant.

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The one dish you must try. Sake’s most celebrated dish. The sashimi tacos.

Eat ’em and weep.

sashimi tacos

2x tuna & salmon sashimi baby tacos with chilled tomato salsa matched with Kozaemon Junmai ‚Äėsake shots‚Äô $17

The minced morsels of sashimi flesh, the taco Jap inspired shell with the excruciatingly microscopic salsa beads is truly legendary. It’s enough to bring tears to your eyes.

bocconcini tempura

bocconcini tempura w reduced balsamic and lemon salt $10

bocconcini tempura 2

The thing I love most about this dish, is that the tempura bocconcini is remarkably stringy. This made for fun, long sweeping arm movements in order for us girls to firmly get the damn thing under control and safely into our mouths. You are left bound by your moral imperative to channel your inner child and play with your food. So, forget mum!

scampi tempura

tempura scampi tails with sweet ponzu, coriander & jalape√Īo slices $36

The tempura scampi tail was wonderful thick, plump and super sweet. The ponzu sauce made it even sweeter and the tempura batter liberally drank the sauce from the bottom up, leaving it positively dribbling with the sauce. The scampi tempura crossed between both crunchy and soggy territory. Nevertheless, I still enjoyed it!

sashimi tacos 2

sashimi tacos $17

I couldn’t resist it, fight it nor withstand it and thanks to good old fashion gluttony, we indulge in another round of the¬†sashimi tacos¬†with absolutely no shame.

kingfish double crunch

kingfish double crunch $15

The¬†sushi roll¬†looks simple enough but this baby is loaded with crunch, textures, layers and flavours on the inside and out. One bite and everything implodes. ¬†It’s pure perfection and I’m somewhat confused, overwhelmed and even a little ecstatic by this little humble roll.

dessert bento box

dessert bento box – chocolate cup cake, yuzu sorbet, nashi pear gyoza, passionfruit dipping sauce with matcha apple mousse sticks $22

We thought the dessert bento box was the perfect way for the pair of us to go out on the finish. The bento box is ideally paired for two and a great way to sample sweet Japanese inspired flavours along our palette.

The highlights were the¬†Yuzu sorbet¬†which served ¬†us with a refreshing hit and the¬†apple mousse sticks¬†was a crumbly and a creamy ensemble with this glorious goo spilling from the inside. The¬†chocolate cupcake¬†was too rich for my taste but Emma practically hoovered the poor thing down,¬†apple floss¬†also didn’t stand a chance while the¬†nashi pear gyoza¬†remained as the weakest link.

buttermilk pannacotta w raspberry coulis

buttermilk pannacotta w raspberry coulis – $12

Just to top things off, we were fortunate enough to receive a complimentary tasting of the¬†deconstructed Russian cream. I’m not sure why, but who am I to refuse Sake and my god, it was absolutely delicious.

Welcome to Sake Restaurant & Bar, for cutting edge Japanese food sitting firmly at the fore.

Saké Restaurant & Bar on Urbanspoon

Saké Restaurant & Bar

02 9259 5656

12 Argyle St
The Rocks, NSW 2000

sakerestaurant.com.au

Tanpopo restaurant

Now under new management.

This is a really cute place that I highly recommend you go to. It’s tiny, it’s quaint and has that Japanese-esque feel to it. Ka-wa-ii de-su-ne.

The setting is a bit squishy and the service is a bit inattentive but the food more than makes up for it. It is excellent. Don’t get me wrong, the staff are lovely, courteous and friendly. But at times, they just don’t seem to look up. They get really focused on the job at hand. So you may find yourself either staring them down to catch their eye or making the giant leap forward to the counter to speak to them.

Tanpopo Chef Special

Beef Tataki

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