Thursday, January 20, 2011

Menya Noodle Bar, Haymarket

So many eons ago, in a far bygone era (2009) I was introduced to tonkotsu ramen (ramen in pork-based broth) at Gumshara Ramen by the lovely Miss Fi (aka Asian food guru) and I was instantly obsessed. I became a frequent visitor and gaily joined the cult proclaiming it to be the "best ramen in Sydney" without even realising that I haven't actually eat that much ramen in Sydney. If any. So, keen to validate this statement I set out on my Sydney Ramen Safari, and at what better time - Gumshara was closed for two weeks for the new year, giving me the perfect excuse to embark on this endeavour. Which brings us here - first stop, Menya Noodle Bar (Chinatown).

I visited Menya after UTS Info Day with Geo and Johnson (cute couple) and it took some searching but we found it tucked away in Chinatown. It's a fairly small noodle bar, you pay up front and sit at a long communal table, listening to the shouts of the chefs (we contemplate for a moment whether they're legitimately announcing things or just taking the piss).

Tonkotsu Shoyu Ramen, Menya
Tonkotsu shoyu Menya ramen $9.30

My tonkotsu shoyu Menya ramen arrives soon enough in very big bowls topped with one slice of cha-su (roasted pork), bamboo, naruto (Japanese fish cake), scallions, a sheet of nori, half an egg and a sprinkling of sesame seeds. The noodles were a thinner variety, but still perfectly chewy, the pork was so tender it almost falls apart when you pick it up and had a almost sweet, fatty, melt-in-your-mouth flavour. The broth was thin with a soy base, and I found it quite oily. From memory it was sort of sweet, and tasted very different to what I am used to. I also wished the egg was soft boiled, but having been seasoned (soy cured I think?) it was still very tasty.

Gyoza $6.90 (6 pieces)

The gyoza was deliciously moreish, the wrapping was soft and thin, the bottoms deliciously crisp and the pork filling was good from what I remember and went very nicely with the dipping sauce (sorry no details, I forgot to take notes). On a side note, Johnson (token white guy) cannot use chopsticks and we had to find him a fork. Laugh at his incompetence! We did.

Menya Noodle Bar
Shop TG8, 8 Quay Street, Haymarket 2000
Telephone: (02) 9212 1020

Menya on Urbanspoon

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