I am actually more of a rice girl..
..which means I love rice more eventhough I also love noodles and its friends. However, I love Japanese ramen. Menya noodle bar is one of the small restaurants around the Prince Centre, Haymarket. This place is almost always packed every lunch time, usually by uni students looking for wallet friendly but filling meals.
Menya's dining only consists of two long tables, the other one is further inside the restaurant. There is also a small table facing the sidewalk, so you can see people walking while eating, and vice versa. When a customer goes inside, he/she will be welcomed by a 'welcome' shout in Japanese by the crews. Menya's offer two kind of soup: tonkotsu (pork based broth) and tori-gara soup (chicken based broth).
|Menya noodle bar|
I've only visited Menya twice. On my first time, I ordered tori katsu don with miso soup (Japanese chicken schnitzel atop rice, with teriyaki sauce and cooked egg) and my mom ordered teriyaki chicken ramen. My first impression of Menya's menu was good, the chicken, both the katsu and the teriyaki were given generously and the flavor was great too.
My second visit was driven by karami ramen (chilli pork mince) which is labeled 'dynamite hot!'. I'd preferred the tonkotsu shoyu broth so I went for it. For sides, I also ordered kakiage tempura and nori sheet. My karami ramen arrived in a big bowl, with pork mince on top, also with pickled turnip, chopped shallots and naruto (Japanese fish cake). It looked so fierce in colour, promising high level of chilli.
|Karami ramen tonkotsu shoyu ($12.30), with kakiage tempura and nori|
But first, I have to say I wish that the kakiage prawn tempura was better. It's a tad too oily for me, I have to soak the oil with paper towel first. It s not as crunchy as Mappen's kakiage. The nori is not as crunchy as I want it to be, but it's a nice accompaniment for the ramen.
|Kakiage tempura and nori sheet|
The ramen was spicy. Yeah it was spicy. But well.. I'd like more chilli in there. Or it's just my crazy tongue. However, I would love less oil in the soup, and also I hope there is more pork mince. But the flavour is good nevertheless. The highlight was the egg, which (I think) is soy cured, but still have soft and gooey yolk.
|Pretty, soft egg yolk|
On the table, there are bowls of tempura flakes, can be taken as much as one's heart content. The flakes are soggy though. I didn't take a lot.
|A bowl of tempura flakes|
I wished I'd ordered curry rice the girl sitting in front of me was having. But anyways, for a cheap, happy meals, Menya is a good place to dine.
Rating: 3.5/5 (Really worth the try)
Good ramen, helpful service, small place can be easily packed, price is affordable.
MENYA NOODLE BAR
8 Quay St Shop Tg8
Haymarket, NSW 2000