Cookbookmaniac
  • Asian Restaurant Reviews
    Ichi Ban Boshi – Return of the old favourite
    It's a Friday night and two days before Pizzaboy's birthday. We always eat out on Friday evenings, it's our favourite method of winding down from our mundane 9to5 jobs. "It's my birthday weekend, does that mean I can choose where we eat tonight?" "Ok, but it has to be somewhere I haven't blogged." "That's not fair. I guess Menya is out of the question?" "We've been to Menya 5 times since I blogged about it, choose somewhere different." "Ichi Ban Boshi?" "Ok!" Two thumbs up. Ichi Ban Boshi was our favourite Friday night haunt before we discovered Menya. It's located next to our favourite book shop, Kinokuniya. Pizzaboy is a comic book geek. I'm a cookbook nerd. Kinokuniya is our home away from home. It's very easy for us to shop for our books and then cross the hall to have our much loved end-of-the-week meal. Ichi Ban Boshi has a no reservation policy. You simply turn up and take a number. Thankfully this wait was only 10 minutes. We were seated and handed our menus immediately. There are many items on the menu ranging from the ever popular Tokyo Ramen to the most sort after Tonkotsu Ramen (only 15 bowls are available per day). There is also a selection of curry dishes, salads and various rice combo's. I don't bother looking at the menu. We flag down a waitress and order. Pizzaboy and I decide to stick to our old faithfuls: Tsukemen, Karaage-don, Gyoza and Grilled Ox Tongue. They…
  • Asian Restaurant Reviews
    Gumshara – This broth is so hearty, it is going to give me a heart attack!
    "Hey Pizzaboy, I'm thinking I might do a theme". "Uh oh... like what?" "My search for the best ramen in Sydney" "Ok! I'm in. Where are we going!" You may have read about how Pizzaboy and I discovered and fell in love with Tonkotsu Ramen in Japan. Ever since our return we have realised that there are many ramen restaurants throughout Sydney. It was just a matter of getting out there and finding the one that calls out my name and says to me "I am the one". According to Time Out Sydney, Gumshara is one of the top 5 noodle places in Sydney. That is a very bold statement. Sydney is a city that has seen waves of immigration and now has so many authentic places to dine at, whittling the list to just five seems impossible and unfathomable. "We're going to Gumshara". "Whatshara? Gaa Gaa?" "They boil down 120kg of pork marrow bones and tendons with just water for an entire day and it becomes this thick soup of collagen rich tonkotsu." "Oooh! Is it nice?" "Must be. Sydney Morning Herald dedicated an entire page to its review of this place." "Nah, we're not going." "Why?" "All those authentic places are damned when they get popular." "Well, if it weren't for its popularity we wouldn't know about it. Let's just go and see what its like." I haven't been to Eating World since high school, over ten years ago. It looks the same, except... more sterile. The moment…
  • Asian Restaurant Reviews
    Menya – The best ramen in Sydney
    Whilst in Japan, pizzaboy and I were lost in the streets of Shibuya, Tokyo. We were hungry and couldn't read Japanese. I was craving noodles and I randomly chose a noodle bar that had a picture of ramen at the front. We pointed at something that looked appetising on the menu with no idea what we were ordering. This was our first introduction to Tonkotsu Ramen. Tonkotsu ramen is usually a cloudy white coloured broth and is a thick broth made by boiling pork bones, fat, and collagen over high heat for hours on end, suffusing the broth with a hearty pork flavor and a creamy consistency that rivals milk or melted butter or gravy (depending on the shop). Most shops, but not all, blend this pork broth with a small amount of chicken and vegetable stock and/or soy sauce. When I got home to Sydney, I googled - tonkotsu - and found that it was a specialty at Menya in Haymarket. And with a 7+ rating on eatabilty.com.au it was worth a visit. It was almost identical to the one we ate in Shibuya. Its milky broth was so comforting, it made me feel like everything was good in the world. Pizzaboy and I have been frequent diners at Menya ever since. They also make it very easy to come back often because the prices are very reasonable, and they have a frequent visitor card where your 20th bowl of noodles is free. We have tried many things on…