Thursday, 6 December 2012

Tomoya, Strathfield Plaza - Sydney

Eating tasty or eating healthy?
Bibimbap from Tomoya

I bet that's one of the main questions we often ask ourselves before pointing our fingers onto a menu. Here's an effort to simplify the question: a double cheeseburger or some quinoa salad?

For that question, I'll pick the cheeseburger right away, but I certainly won't mind eating some healthy food although I may skip on the quinoa. But when in doubt, I'll choose the one that is tasty, but healthy.

Tomoya is a Japanese-Korean restaurant located near one of the entrances of Strathfield Plaza. Their bibimbap has been recommended to me by several foodies, so on a Korean-groceries-shopping day, I paid them a visit.

Tomoya, Strathfield Plaza

The restaurant's interior is simple, dominated with neutral colours and has wooden wallpapers and flooring. They have big tables which can easily seat large groups, but there are also some table-for-twos in the furthest side of the room.

The service is friendly and quite quick, they seem happy to explain any question about the menu, which is filled with Japanese and Korean dishes such as Japanese teriyaki dishes, sushi, to Korean hot pots and noodle dishes.


Table-for-twos and the cashier

They have a trolley with banchan (side dishes) and the small plates, so the waitresses can simply pinch some and serve them in just a few minutes after we are seated. The kimchi is nice, but my fav is the cucumber kimchi.

Banchan (side dishes)

Just a little warning here, there will be no fried things featured in this post. I'm all about eating healthy this time.

These nicely portioned kimchi mandoo or kimchi dumplings are actually worth the price tag. The almost-translucent skin has perfect thickness, packed tightly with palatable filling whose flavour can be enhanced by the gochujang (fermented chilli paste) sauce provided. I could detect tofu apart from the obvious kimchi in the filling, but I'm not 100% sure.

Kimchi mandoo (kimchi dumplings) - $9 ($3 ea)

'Man, that's a lot of veggies', was my first thought when the heavy, stone-like big bowl of bibimbap (mixed rice) was put onto the table. I love my veggies but I'm not exactly a herbivore, thus looking at what seems to be a mountain of herbs and leaves with only a few tablespoons of minced beef in a corner made me step back a bit.

Bibimbap - $12 (before)

The abundance of veggies was even more apparent after some mixing swirls. I would love some charred rice on the bottom but sadly it wasn't a stone bowl. But the complaints stop at that.

There were lots of veggies on the first mouthful, but I managed to get everything included: the beef and the yolk. And it's healthy food at its best. It has all the flavour and freshness I need, the beef is actually pretty intense in flavour, I can see why they only gave a limited amount. It may not look like it, but it is a really piquant bowl. Now I know why it is recommended.

And did you know? Bibimbap was on the 40th place on the World's 50 most delicious foods readers' poll done by CNN Go in 2011.

Bibimbap after mixing

So, tell me. Will you pick the double cheeseburger or this bibimbap? Or another similar question, will you boil your chicken or fry it? I know that every health professional will probably recommend healthy eating, but I guess indulging in some sinful, tasty items now and then is one of the greatest pleasures ever. At least, it is for me.

Currency: $1 = IDR 9,500

Rating: 4/5 (Recommended)
Lovely and healthy bibimbap, nice Japanese and Korean dishes options, service is really friendly, price is OK, ambiance is nice.



Strathfield Plaza, Shop 34 Ground Level
The Boulevarde, Strathfield
NSW 2135

Phone: (02) 9746 8877

Tomoya Japanese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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