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 $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 $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 $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 $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 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 $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 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.
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