It's been a month of intense writing, cramming and serious consumption of mango liquorice, dark chocolate, coffee, coffee and more coffee. Somehow I have survived another round of law exams and now enjoying the fresh air of holidays!
Amidst the craze over the past few weeks, I permitted myself with a mini break to let out some steam in funky(China)town. A friend told us that he stumbled upon a secret ramen noodle place in Chinatown that we had to try. Secret? In Chinatown? I practically grew up in Chinatown and have tried most of the eateries in this Asian hub. This secret Japanese business in Chinatown sounded too tantalising to be true!
If you are in Chinatown at night, take a detour through the laneway! Who says Melbourne has monopoly over all the cool laneways? Sydney can proudly claim some coolness too - see exhibit A below! This lane way is full of this little blue guy! Be sure to walk with friends though, there's nothing like a dark and secret laneway...
The detour led us to the main street opposite the Entertainment Centre. Our target - Ramen Kan Japanese Noodle Bar - was spotted.
We squeezed into a tiny elevator and were greeted with this sign. At first I was confused and lost, and found myself engaged in quite an intellectual monologue on the meaning of this sign. After airing my confusion, a consensus was reached that 'expect' is meant to be 'except'. CUTE! I adore Chinglish!
Though I'm not a big fan of normal tofu (funny texture, wobbly, had too much as a child), I do heart agedashi tofu. These were really cheap, only $3 from memory. A must have entree!
Fried teriyaki chicken udons
Unagi don is probably the sexiest meal out of all hearty dishes. The 'sex appeal' of this unagi don is heightened here as the eels are fried with the egg. Weird but true!
Whilst everyone were busy slurping in their dons and chewing their dons, I was surprised that no one on our table ordered ramen at a ramen bar... except me. I ordered the tonkotsu ramen with spicy fish roe. The pork based soup had intense flavours, and the spiciness was just the right touch that you need for a cold winter's night.
A Japanese restaurant often conjures up imagines of refined and meticulous preparation and presentation. I wouldn't exactly fit this restaurant into that stereotype. However, it is a hearty Japanese on a budget! The cocktails were fairly cheap ($7) though it resembled more like mocktails. Without the cocktails, the meal itself was under $15. Nevertheless, it was an enjoyable, cosy and hearty Chinatown secret.
Remember, you can book *expect* Friday!
Level 1, 90 Hay St
Haymarket NSW 2000