Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Sydney's best ramen places

It's been more than a year since the last time I updated this blog. No excuse from my side, it was a major exam at first, then massive travelling around the globe, and the laziness got the best of me. I still take photos of most of the things I eat everyday (well, the good looking ones) so it would be a waste to dump the photos somewhere in my folder forever. I also do lots of instagram-ing to cheat in an attempt to make me look like a photoshop genius, NOT! Anyhow, let's roll again....

I love the Japanese ramen. When I lived in Japan, I used to buy one of those 37293723 different types of ramen guide books (more like secretly taking photos of the pages with the places I wanna try in the bookstore). Ramen is an art form in Japan, much like sushi making. Ramen masters need years of training across several generations in order to perfect the noodles and the soup base. Each ramen shop has its own distinctive taste of soup base and each has its own fanbase who would be willing to wait for hours just to have a taste of the ramen, including yours truly. Back in Sydney, I struggle to find a bowl of ramen that is as good as the one in Japan, but here are some of the notable ones.

Ryo's noodles

No.4 - Hakata tonkotsu ramen
My no.1 favourite! There are always queues here most nights. Get there before 8pm to make sure that they still have some soup stocks left. I feel that the soup here is "just right" for me, in terms of the thickness and flavour. I think this is the closest to the ramen that I enjoyed in Japan. 

Noodle bear's comments: pretty similar to what i remember it to be like in japan, satisfying 9/10

Ichiban boshi 

Tonkotsu ramen
My second favourite after Ryo's. It lacks the finessee of Ryo's but it is undoubtedly very satisfying without being overly heavy. Best eaten on a cold night. The sign in the store says they only make 15 bowls a day but no matter how late I go there I still manage to get my tonkotsu ramen fix. 

Noodle bear's comments: is just good but i don't think its as good as the other two


Mega tonkotsu ramen
Get this if you want to experience pork in its purest form. Apparently they boil 120kg of pork bones with nothing else every single day to get the soup base. Gumshara has gathered a strong cult following over the years, but I personally find the soup too thick and porky for my liking. This is actually the noodle bear's favourite ramen in Sydney.

Noodle bear's comments: the BEST because its so rich! 10/10

My credibility? I love ramen, used to live in Japan and cuddled my ramen guide book to sleep, tried all these places with the self-proclaimed noodle connoisseur bear.

Ryo's Noodle
125 Falcon St
North Sydney NSW 2060

Ichiban Boshi
360 Oxford St
Bondi Junction NSW 2022

Eating World Haymarket Chinatown
Shop 209, 25-29 Dixon St
Haymarket NSW 2000

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Cafe Giulia

Cafe Giulia is a popular haunt for Usyd students due to its proximity, HUGE portion and small price. Most of the menu are under $10, with some around $15. The portion size will satisfy any growing boy.

The menu is very extensive, from egg dishes to any bread stuff to pasta to salad to muesli.

The poached eggs were cooked perfectly, with runny yolks and all mmm... And boy, those were the biggest eggs I'd ever eaten! (yes, the plates were pretty big and piled high with stuff). They were very generous with the bacons too. The smoked salmon breakfast had a nice balance of flavour and I liked the potato hash. Lastly, the scrambled eggs (with extra hash) were massive! The eggs covered pretty much the whole plate. I guess they must've used at least 3 of the same mega big eggs. This will satisfy any cravings for scrambled eggs.

Overall, a nice all-rounder cafe, a must for egg lovers like myself. Will definitely be back soon with a big appetite! Since they have an open kitchen, be prepared to smell like a fried egg after your visit there.

Cafe Giulia 
92 Abercrombie St
Chippendale NSW

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Trio Cafe

It's the Queen's birthday long weekend! For me, weekends are synonymous to a nice brunch in some fancy cafe. I have been going to Trio Cafe in Bondi Beach for a while. Yes, it can be hard finding a parking spot there, the food is not cheap, there is always a long queue (book your table if you don't wanna wait for an hour or so), but the food never disappoints.

Boss eggs - scrambled eggs with fetta & truffle oil served with sourdough toast, avocado & prosciutto ($21)

Big breakfast - two eggs (any style) with toast, bacon, mushrooms, sausage, oven-roasted tomato & a hash brown ($21)

My absolute favourite is the Boss eggs. I like the scrambled eggs here better than Bill's cafe. The feta and truffle oil combination is divine, along with the creaminess from avocado and saltiness from prosciutto. You can really taste the truffle here, and the portion is pretty big. My brother, on the other hand, always seems to order big breakfast wherever we go, what a guy! He opted for both sunnyside and scrambled eggs, along with all the other condiments that were well cooked. A substantial portion indeed.

Overall, one of my favourite brunch spots in Sydney and I will definitely be back soon. I might also try the dinner menu.

Trio Cafe
56 Campbell Parade
Bondi Beach NSW 2026

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Erciyes Turkish Restaurant

I had this Middle Eastern food craze a few months ago. All I wanted to eat was the colourful dips. So much that they boy took me to Erciyes Turkish Restaurant in Surry Hills for the Valentine's day dinner. I was expecting somewhere more romantic but at least that means he listened to me! From the outside, this place looks like a dodgey takeaway joint, but they actually have a nice and spacious dine-in area next to that. 

We wanted to order the banquet but it's for at least a group of four, fine.... so we made our own 'banquet'.

Small mixed dips ($14)

Hot, toasted turkish bread

Small Greek salad ($10) 

Mixed grill ($29)

Sucuklu - Turkish sausage with garlic, egg and spices (spicy) ($13)
As you can see, we kinda went overboard with the ordering! The owner was really nice and he actually told us to stop ordering when we initially wanted more since he thought that it would be wasted. 

We started the feast with the small mixed dips, that came with a pretty big pile of freshly toasted Turkish bread. The 'small' mixed dips was actually a lot! It could've easily fed at least 4-5 people. Nothing beats freshly toasted bread with the dips. We also ordered a small (ie pretty big) Greek salad to create the illusion that we're eating healthily. The mixed grill was a mixture of lamb cutlets, kofte, lamb and chicken shish. Each one of them was really tender and well seasoned, one of the best mixed grill plates I've had. By this time, we were clutching our stomach only to realise that we still had another plate coming... no wonder the owner had to stop us from ordering more! The sucuklu (pide) was very flavoursome too, but unfortunately we couldn't even finish half of this. 

Overall, a very nice dining experience with reasonable price. We ordered so much and paid around $30 each. I am keen to try the banquet menu with a bigger group next time. I heard that there are some belly dancers performing on Friday and Saturday nights.

409 Cleveland St
Surry Hills

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Cheese fondue at Eiger Swiss Restaurant

One cold day I was craving for cheese fondue and a search in google took me to this restaurant in Parramatta Rd. As with most restaurants along that street, the front of the restaurant looked very run down but don't let that put you off.

The decor of the restaurant looked very homey and authentic. The owner was being very friendly in a strange way but it's not for me to judge I guess. Onto the food!

Snails in garlic butter (1/2 doz) ($11.50)

Crusty bread for the dipping action

Cheese fondue for 4 ($25/person)

Cheese porn

We started with an entree of snails in garlic butter. They were yum and we used the bread provided to mop up the sauce. And then a HUGE bowl of the molten cheese came in for our dipping pleasure. The cheese used was really sharp with strong alcohol flavour, which I think what an authentic cheese fondue should taste like (Emmenthal, gruyere, and lots of wine + kirsch lol). One of us was actually not a huge fan of sharp tasting cheese and he wasn't fond of that. I, as a proud cheese lover, absolutely savoured this! The 3 girls managed to mop up the whole bowl!

Some rules of cheese fondue that I know of:
- No double dipping!
- Each piece of bread must have the crusty part
- Use the crusty part to mop the different side of the bowl each time you dip it in to prevent the cheese from burning
- At the end of the dipping action, there will be this crust of cheese left in the bottom of the bowl, try not to fight for that.

Eiger Swiss Restaurant
552 Parramatta Road
NSW 2049
(02) 9564 1160