After the somewhat disappointing lack of pork-punch that was the tonkotsu-shoyu broth at Menya Chinatown, I was optimistic for the straight-out tonkostu Menya Ramen at Market St branch. Georgia and I arrived before noon to find the place already-packed with business people and a line out the door. It took us about half an hour to get a table for three, but I took the bustling lunch rush as a sign of good food.
Menya Ramen, Tonkotsu $9.90
The ramen was nearly identical to its brother in Chinatown, served with a slice of cha-su, two pieces of naruto, a sheet of nori, half an egg and shallots. However the broth was so much more pleasing, although thin and oily, it was flavoursome and porky with a very full-bodied flavour (yes I know this term is usually used to refer to wine, but I'm lacking in adjectives here). The noodles here are amazing, chewy and not thin, I'm not sure if I'm correct but I'm presuming the more irregular-shaped and lumpy noodles are hand-pulled as opposed to the thin and smooth machine-made ones, and these were the lumpy noodles I prefer. I find that the texture of the lumpy ones tends to be 'bouncier' - I don't know the correct English word used to describe this so this is a literal translation of the Chinese term. But back to the Menya ramen, the pork was tender, fatty and stickily delicious, only one slice though but still good for the price, the half egg is not quite soft as I like it but tastily soy-cured, however it was slightly cold in the centre. Overall, this was satisfyingly good ramen, and we scooped up every last drop of the broth.
Takoyaki, $6.50 (8 pieces)
As well as the ramen, we ordered a plate of takoyaki to share - it comes covered in an abundance of dancing bonito flakes (perhaps a little too much) and a drizzle of tonkatsu sauce and Japanese mayo (not enough, in my opinion - I love Jap mayo). However the takoyaki was fantastic, crisp on the outside and piping hot in the centre, with a piece of octopus as well as squid. Om nom nom nom is all I have left to say.
Menya Noodle Bar
Shop 2, 1 Market Street, Sydney 2000
Telephone: (02) 9267 4649