Friday, December 30, 2011

Menya Oiden, CBD

If you're ever in the city and hungering for a cheap but filling meal, Menya Mappen was always my go-to place. Bowls of noodles and tempura always went down well, but a little more recently a sister joint Menya Oiden popped up in the adjoining shop space at Skyview Plaza. Following the same ideology of cafeteria-style dining, the new incarnation as a rice bowl bar, serving rice with various toppings and a varying selection of kushiage, gives us a few more tasty options.

Ontama Suriyaki Beef Bowl, Menya Oiden
Ontama Beef Bowl $5.90 (medium)

I'm a sucker for the creamy half-boiled egg first introduced to me in a bowl of udon bukkake at Mappen, and the ontama beef bowl does not disappoint. Rice stopped with tender stripes of Sukiyaki beef and onions, spring onions, ginger and that lovely googie egg.

Ebi Fry Bowl, Menya Oiden
Ebi-Fry Bowl $6.90 (medium)

The ebi-fry bowl consists of rice topped with Asian slaw (shredded raw cabbage and carrot) and two skewers of crunchy crumbed, deep-fried prawns drizzled with a sweet soy sauce.

Kimchi Beef Bowl, Menya Oiden
Kimchi Beef Bowl $5.90 (medium)

The kimchi beef bowl presents rice with the same tasty Sukiyaki beef and onions, topped with kimchi. It wasn't the best kimchi I've ever had but there were some nice hot and sour flavours.

Ontama Tataki Tuna Bowl, Menya Oiden
Ontama Tataki Tuna Bowl $7.50 (medium)

The ontama takani tuna bowl was unlike anything I've had before - rice topped with small pieces of nori, a patty of minced raw tuna belly, a half-boiled egg and spring onions. When mixed together, the thick liquid egg yolk coats everything and the raw tuna mince adds a a creamy texture and an almost buttery flavour to the rice. I added a liberal sprinkle of optional tempura flakes and extra spring onion (can you tell I love shallots?) and all together, it made a lovely, filling meal.

Tonkatsu and Potato Fry, Menya Oiden
Tonkatsu $2.50, Potato Kushiage $0.80

Pieces of skewered tonkatsu pork and potato kushiage are sometimes part of the deep-fried selection, which changes day-to-day. The panko crumb coating is cooked to a lovely golden-brown colour and crisp but not greasy. The sweet and sour 'fry' sauce in the tabletop condiments box goes particularly well with the tonkatsu.

Eggplant Kakiage, Menya Oiden
Eggplant Fry $1.50

My favourite of the fried items is definitely the deep-fried eggplant, a wedge (sometimes a strip) of eggplant, crumbled and deep-fried until the exterior is crisp while the flesh inside is soft and creamy. Best.

Marinated Deep-fried Eggplant, Menya Oiden
Marinated Deep-fried Eggplant $2.50

The marinated deep-fried eggplant may look dubious, sitting on the counter in a small cling-wrapped bowl, but it tastes pretty decent. The small pieces of eggplant are soft and flavoursome, and topped with spring onion and some stuff I'm unfamiliar with.

Spinach Salad, Menya Oiden
Spinach with Sesame Sauce $1.20

The spinach with sesame sauce isn't anything special but it's there by default, the tiny bowl of clean greenery takes the edge of the guilt of having consumed a large amount of more delicious deep-fried things. It knows its purpose, but most days I bypass and cop the guilt to grab some more kushiage.

Menya Oiden
Skyview Plaza, 537-551 George Street, Sydney 2000
Telephone: (02) 9283 5525

Menya Oiden on Urbanspoon


  1. Great prices for a quick lunch - the ebi fry looks delish!

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  3. I can't seem to actaully get past Mappen to try Oiden. Perhaps that can be my 2012 resolution - try left not right in the shopping centre and try something new? It all looks really nice.

  4. That looks delicious! I just went to Menya Noodle Bar last night and loved it. I'm looking forward to trying their other joints now, especially judging by how good that potato kushiage looks.

  5. The tonkatsu looks perfect. All the food looks so fresh and delicious. Great photos!

  6. hey love your blog! wondering what camera do you use?

    1. Thanks! I use a Canon EOS 400d :)

  7. Deep fried eggplant, oh yes, give me some of that!

  8. hi :D the pictures are making me so hungry right now ): ):
    i was just wondering if 'suriyaki' should be 'sukiyaki' LOL just thought id point it out for you :/

  9. Oh my god you're right, a case of typo manifesting itself!

  10. This place rules so hard. Despite the old getting-a-table anxiety I'd probably eat here every day if I could! The deep-fried eggplant is my favourite, too :) love your photography! Very nice snaps.