Three of a kind: Japanese eats

We have been fans of Japanese cuisine even before we even set foot on the Land of the Rising Sun. Since coming back from our holiday there, we have a better appreciation of Japanese food and have been trying some of the fast food shops and restaurants serving Japanese food around Melbourne.

First off is Ajisen Ramen (130 Bourke Street, Melbourne). A well-known Japanese franchise serving up ramen and other donburi dishes, the pork broth they use for the ramen is tasty and would warm you up on any cold day. I had high hopes for their ramen but the noodles itself was nothing out of the ordinary. They serve ramen with some seaweed, hard boiled egg and vegetables with whatever meat you choose. I recommend the Paiku Ramen. If you like lots of garlic with your ramen, a lavish sprinkling from the bottle of red garlic powder at your table should do the trick.

Other than ramen, we have also tried the Omu-raisu (Omelette Rice), which was massive. The rice stuffing turned out to be fried rice, it was okay but not spectacular. Hubby’s favourite is their Sizzling Chicken, which is buttery chicken served on a sizzling plate with some vegetables in soy sauce and rice. Prices are reasonable ($10-12 for mains) and the service fast, if not hurried. The decor is sparse and I think they could benefit from adding more lighting inside. But hey, if you want some comfort food on a rainy day, the decor certainly shouldn’t stop you.
Garlic PowderPaiku RamenSizzling ChickenOmu Rice

Another great place tucked along the Causeway lane is Sushi Monger (Shop 17, 309 Bourke Street, Melbourne, (03) 9663 0899). Serving mostly bento boxes and sushi, the place has always been crowded everytime we wanted to try it. We went in for some early lunch one day and were lucky to get some seats. Staffed by a Japanese family, the service was quick and polite. Prices were very affordable too, with rice dishes ranging from $7.50-$9.80 and bento boxes at $8.80-$9.80.

I had the Ebi Fry Bento with a choice of two sushi while hubby had the Sukiyaki Bento with rice. Both were quite good and we finished off everything, including the seaweed salad and fish cakes! If you’re very hungry and feel like a spot of Japanese curry, they do a very good katsu curry. Arrive early if you plan to have lunch here as they only have limited seating in their small space.
Sushi Monger menuEbi Fry bentoSukiyaki bentoSushi monger shop front

Last but certainly not the least is Horoki (19 Liverpool Street, Melbourne, (03) 9663 2227). Although I wouldn’t classify this restaurant as strictly Japanese since they also feature Western inspired dishes, it’s Japanese fusion at its best. Their limited lunch menu offers the diner a lunch platter consisting of 3 dishes of your choice to be served with either bread or rice. We love their Hamburg steak with mashed potatoes as well as their lightly crumbed chicken schnitzel (katsu).

Although each serving look like it’s small, it’s well presented and would fill you up quite nicely. Dishes are made-to-order so they are served to you fresh and warm, although it may mean several minutes of waiting. It’s well worth the wait though and the service is quick. The interiors are modern and relaxing, with the big, disc-shaped ceiling lights illuminating the cosy space. You would have to book a table or just sit at the bar if you’d like to just walk in and have lunch. The lunch platter would set you back $12.90, a bit pricier than what we’d normally spend for lunch but hits just the right spot when we feel like treating ourselves to very good food.
Horoki shop frontHoroki menuCroquette, Fritto and Hamburg steak setSukiyaki, Hamburg steak and teriyaki chicken set

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Published in: on May 29, 2007 at 12:08 pm  Comments (7)  

7 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. @Arnel: Thanks for the recommendation. Would try that Japanese/Korean restaurant if ever we find ourselves around that area. Cheers!

  2. Try Ume Hana, corner Elizabeth and A.Beckett, City. Okey lang ang pricing and masarap ang ramen.

  3. @Alma: Oo nga e, kahit ako ginugutom. Found any good ones there in Prahran?

    @Jennie: Thanks for the recommendations! Would certainly try some of those. I’m actually already plotting to dine at Torimatsu one of these days. 😀

  4. May I recommend a few?

    Kagurazaka

    Located at 266 Toorak Road South Yarra, opposite the Como. Food is really good, especially their Sukiyaki. They’re also moderately priced ($15- $30 mains)

    Torimatsu

    Located at 179 King St. Melbourne. High quality Japanese food but moderately priced. They have an all you can eat BBQ for $26 after 6 pm. Heaps of Japanese people eat here so that’s good endorsement don’t you think?

    Kimurakan Cafe

    Located at 238 Little Bourke St. Melbourne. Unlike the other two, this is not an authentic Japanese restaurant although you get good value for your buck. Very reasonably priced ($10 – $12 mains) and you’re sure to leave the place stuff and satisfied!

    Hope this helped a bit… enjoy your gastronomic adventures!

  5. ano ba yan, nakakagutom ang entry na ‘to. teka, hanap muan ako Jap food dito sa Prahran. 🙂

  6. Yo! Good news. There’s actually Ajisen branches in the Philippines, too!

    Ajisen Ramen
    E. Rodriquez Jr. Ave, Libis
    Quezon City
    Phone: 913-5076

    Ajisen Ramen
    2nd Level, The Paseo Center, 8757 Paseo de Roxas cor. Sedeno St.,Salcedo Village
    Makati City
    Phone: 812-5395

    There’s also Yoshinoya there like in Japan. Though, I wasn’t very impressed with Yoshinoya when we ate there while in Japan.

    Also, I’ve found this website that seems to have been made by Japanese that lists Japanese restaurants in Manila and Makati. If it’s good enough for them, it might be good enough for you, too: http://www.himikoac.com/mgw/restaurant/j-res.html 😀

  7. Wah! Looks authentic! 😮 It’s really hard to find authentic Japanese restos here in the Philippines. Most of them (like Teriyaki Boy) are already commercialized. Goodness… I suddenly have a craving for japanese. doh!


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