Archive | Asian RSS feed for this section

Ramen Ya, Melbourne

27 Jun

Highlight – Decent prices for the CBD

Lowlight – Noodles were quite average

Charshu Ramen

Charshu Ramen

Chicken Katsu

Chicken Katsu

FOOD?

After an intense half a day of shopping we decided to take a break for lunch at Melbourne’s GPO. By this point we were starving as we didn’t eat much for breakfast. I opted for the popular house special, Charshu Tonkotsu Ramen. The charshu slices were very thin and tender but too bad there was so little of it. Noodles reminded me of Maggi noodles but I was super hungry so managed to finish it all. The broth was tasty and helped keep me warm from the chilly winds outside.

As my fiancé usually orders the ramen he decided to try the Chicken Katsu Bento Box for a change. The batter of the chicken was well seasoned and there was a generous amount of katsu sauce and kewpie mayo. The rest of the dish was filled with standard bento box items, gyoza dumplings, salad and rice.

SERVICE?

Orders are made at the counter and customers are free to sit wherever they please with their table number. Meals were delivered relatively quickly after ordering although there was a slight mix up in our orders where they delivered two bento boxes to us instead of one.

AMBIENCE?

Not much ambience, customers are mainly there to eat and go. There are a handful of communal tables outside and some indoor seating if you’re lucky.

VALUE?

Well priced for a restaurant in Melbourne’s CBD with most items around the $10 mark. Regulars can obtain a loyalty card where if you buy nine ramen meals you receive the tenth one free.

BOOKINGS?

At the GPO restaurant, bookings are only accepted for dinner. It can get quite busy during lunchtime on weekdays. The Bourke Street chain allows bookings for both lunch and dinner.

7

out of 10!

Ramen Ya
Shop 25G, Melbourne’s GPO, 350 Bourke  Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
03 9654 5838 

Shop 9, The Paramount, 108 Bourke Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
03 9662 1001 

Ramen Ya on Urbanspoon

Chin Chin, Melbourne

27 Dec

Highlight – Overall flavoursome Asian inspired food

Lowlight – Maitre de was not very welcoming

FOOD?

The menu is quite extensive with a variety of small and large dishes designed to share. We started the night with braised suckling pig ‘roll ups’ which are pretty much DIY pancakes with fresh vegies and herbs complimented by a tangy sauce. These are a great sharing dish for two. Next up was the dish that reminded me of the ying and yang concept, crispy barramundi and green apple salad contrasted with caramelised pork, chilli and lemongrass. Both complimentary opposites that went perfectly together.

Pork 'roll ups' - red braised suckling pig with pancakes, slaw & sour herbs

Pork 'roll ups' - red braised suckling pig with pancakes, slaw & sour herbs

Crispy barramundi and green apple salad with caramelised pork, chilli & lemongrass

Crispy barramundi and green apple salad with caramelised pork, chilli & lemongrass

Our final savoury dish was the dry red curry of soft shell crab, asparagus, thai basil and kaffir lime leaf. There was also a mystery ingredient which was a cross between a fig and a potato that I was not a huge fan of. Other than that the soft shell crabs were crunchy on the outside and not too oily.

To finish we ordered the tempting palm sugar ice cream sundae sprinkled with chunky pieces of honeycomb and doused with lime syrup. Awesome choice if you have a super sweet tooth!

Dry red curry of soft shell crab with asparagus, thai basil & kaffir lime leaf

Dry red curry of soft shell crab with asparagus, Thai basil & kaffir lime leaf

Palm sugar ice cream sundae with salted honeycomb & lime syrup

Palm sugar ice cream sundae with salted honeycomb & lime syrup

SERVICE?

Even though the staff at the door were not very friendly our waiter was very helpful. He knew the menu extremely well and assisted us with our choices by pointing out the restaurant favourites.

AMBIENCE?

The restaurant makes use of its space well with tables situated quite close to each other and plenty of seating around the bar and kitchen areas.

VALUE?

The menu is reasonably priced with most items valued less than $30. With the use of fresh ingredients and aromatic herbs, dishes are worth the price tag.

BOOKINGS?

Yet another no bookings policy restaurant to add to the list. We went here on a Wednesday night and didn’t have much of a wait however we were only after a table of two. Having said this it was still quite busy but nothing compared to Mamasita.

8

out of 10!

Chin Chin
125 Flinders Lane, Melbourne VIC 3000
03 8663 2000

Chin Chin on Urbanspoon

Shyun, Carnegie

5 Sep

Highlight – Authentic Japanese cuisine

Lowlight – Overcrowded compact venue

Soft-shell crab roll

Soft-shell crab roll

Agedashi tofu

Agedashi tofu

Bento box

Combination bento box

FOOD?

My aunty has been raving about Shyun for a while now and I finally decided to make a trip there after work. (She did mention that I wasn’t allowed to write a post on Shyun in order to keep it a secret but I think it’s too late, the word is definitely out as evident in the popularity observed on my recent visit.)

We all agreed that the entree/share dishes were the highlight of the night. Our favourites included the soft-shell crab rolls with seafood-type sauce and the deep-fried tofu served in Japanese dashi stock.

Mains were pretty average, I think it was because we didn’t make the right choices. I had the prawn and vegetable tempura with rice, it was tasty but needed something else in the dish as it was purely tempura after tempura with no condiments to relieve yourself from the oily batter. The boys ordered the combination bento boxes which were surprisingly large but the accompaniments of sukiyaki beef and fried chicken were quite ordinary.

After looking further at the online menu I am keen to return here as there are so many more dishes I want to try such as the Nasu Dengaku (eggplant with mincemeat and miso sauce) and the Katsu Curry (crispy chicken with Japanese curry sauce). I would again start with some fresh sashimi and california rolls.

SERVICE?

The majority of staff are Japanese and do the best they can given the busyness of the restaurant. We were unable to wave staff down to clear our table and ended up having to clean up ourselves.

AMBIENCE?

Inside there is a maximum seating capacity of 30 people. The venue is small and lacks ambience, instead focusing on delivering authentic Japanese dishes.

VALUE?

Great value for quality ingredients used to create traditional meals from Japan.

BOOKINGS?

Shyun does not accept bookings but service is quick so the turnover of tables is efficient. Either arrive early or be willing to patiently wait for a table to free up. During warmer weather you can utilise the outdoor seating, otherwise takeaway is popular too. Note, this is a cash only restaurant.

7

out of 10!

Shyun
126 Koornang Road, Carnegie VIC 3163
03 9569 6530 

 Shyun on Urbanspoon

Wong’s Lucky Bar, Box Hill

28 Aug

Highlight – Value-for-money crab

Lowlight – Super squishy between tables

Hainanese Chicken Rice

Hainanese Chicken Rice

Crab with egg noodles

Crab with egg noodles

FOOD?

Wong’s Lucky Bar is popular for its Hainanese chicken rice and crab with egg noodles. We were lucky to try both in the one sitting together with a plate of crispy fried chicken and a mountain of vegetables. The boneless chicken was moist and succulent served with the standard chicken rice sauces that were a tad on the oily side but still quite tasty. I also recommend the deep-fried flounder, the salty batter was crunchy and seasoned well with spring onions and shallots.

More importantly onto the crab, at $13.80 per pound we were in for a bargain! We ordered two crabs with three serves of noodles. Overall the dish was flavoursome but lacked enough sauce to cover the noodles which is evident in the photo above. Simplicity was key in the dish with the use of ginger and spring onions to create the sauce.

Don’t come here if you’re after a relaxing night out, this is more of an eat-and-go restaurant where you’ll surely leave with a full belly. I did not see any alcoholic beverages, only hot Chinese tea and soft drinks.

SERVICE?

Staff are super busy running back and forth taking orders, serving dishes and clearing tables. They are efficient and get the job done however don’t seem to have a spare moment when you want to ask a question about the menu. When our waitress asked us how many serves of noodles we wanted with the crab we were unsure and asked her opinion. She could not offer any suggestions so we took a guess and ordered three. As such we ended up ordering way too much on top of our other dishes.

AMBIENCE?

Situated in the middle section of Whitehorse Road at the Box Hill tram stop, Wong’s Lucky Bar is a standalone restaurant. I never really noticed it before until someone mentioned it to me. As the restaurant space is quite limited there is not really any space to wait inside and the people who choose to are pretty much watching other people eat.

There is also a cafe adjoined to the restaurant with outdoor seating surrounded by thick plastic sheets to block the wind. This is an option if the restaurant is at capacity but probably not your first preference especially during Winter.

VALUE?

Awesome value for money, at $13.80 a pound for mud crab you can’t really complain. Other dishes are about $8 each so very reasonable.

BOOKINGS?

I’ve actually been to Wong’s Lucky Bar twice in the last month! Call ahead if you can. Even a few hours before if possible so staff can reserve you a table. Although you still have to wait several minutes for a table to free up you will get first dibs on it as opposed to walking in off the street.

7

out of 10!

Wong’s Lucky Bar
921 Whitehorse Road, Box Hill VIC 3128
03 9899 8558 

 Wong's lucky bar on Urbanspoon

Simon’s Peiking Duck, Box Hill South

14 Aug

Highlight – First course: DUCK

Lowlight – Space between tables is limited

Peiking duck, pancake, cucumber, spring onion and plum sauce

Peiking duck, pancake, cucumber, spring onion and plum sauce

Duck meat stir fried with handmade noodles

Duck meat stir fried with handmade noodles

FOOD?

If you’re after crispy skinned duck that is moist with just enough oiliness to line your lips then definitely give this place a go. One duck will feed approximately 2-3 people. We had four people and ordered two ducks for the table so by the end of the night I was seriously bursting at the seams.

After the first course of peking duck pancakes I was pretty much finished, I couldn’t even enjoy the ever so sought after duck drumsticks. Homemade pancakes were a treat as a opposed to the store-bought type and we didn’t run out of cucumber and spring onions as is usually the case with peking duck restaurants.

The duck bone soup with tofu was average and nothing to hype on about. Our handmade noodle selection was probably the best choice out of the bunch (you can choose from four different types of noodles: handmade, hor fun, eggthin rice). Although they were a tad under-seasoned and there was an abundance of noodles in comparison to duck and mushrooms they were still quite tasty.

SERVICE?

Simon Lay is a charming host who visited our table a number of times during the night. He first asked if we had been to his restaurant before and then proceeded to teach us how to fold the peking duck pancakes – place the duck, cucumber and spring onion at 3:15, spoon over plum sauce and then fold the pancake accordingly. Another time he came over and introduced us to his adorable granddaughter.

AMBIENCE?

The restaurant was packed for both sessions and we were told by Simon that it has been consistently like that since opening. It is clear that his popularity from Old Kingdom has followed him.

VALUE?

If you’re going for the peking duck (which I don’t see why you wouldn’t as this is their specialty) there are two options: both include the duck bone soup with tofu and the peking duck pancakes. You can then choose if you want duck meat with bean shoots ($55 per duck) or duck meat stir fried with noodles ($63 per duck).

BOOKINGS?

Bookings are indeed necessary. There are two sessions for dinner 6pm and 8pm in which BYO is available.

I’ve tried to book a few times since but always last minute (the week before) and they have been fully booked out. So try to book as far in advance as you can!

8

out of 10!

Simon’s Peiking Duck Restaurant
197b Middleborough Road, Box Hill South VIC 3128
03 9898 5944 

 Simon's Peiking Duck Restaurant on Urbanspoon

%d bloggers like this: