..... Enjoying life, one bite and plane ride at a time

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Kokoro Ramen

Located in Lonsdale street, it's a bit of a walk if you work on the office side of Collins St. As the name suggest, this place specialises in Ramen. They offer a wide range of flavours and variety of ramen. Their broth ranges from miso, shio to shoyu and of course with everyone's favorite tonkotsu base.

You have a choice of what type of thickness in noodles you like as well.

My favourite is the Sapporo miso with Soft Shell Crab. The broth was very full of pork and miso flavours, I love the slight spiciness in the soup. The egg was cooked beautifully, still marginally runny. The soft shell crab was a bit on the small size but the robust flavours made up for it. The noodles were cooked perfectly not too chewy or too soft.

Also there was the Tokotsu Shio with soft shell crab. Don't ask me why but everyone on the table got either one of these. This was the salt based tokontsu option, I added extra corn into mine. The soup was thick and the noodles were al dente. Shame they downsized the crab, it use to be a lot bigger.

If you are in town and feel like a quick ramen fix, I would highly recommend Kokoro.

Overall 15/20, it's a good, fast ramen shop that really hits the spot when you are hungry.

Kokoro Ramen on Urbanspoon

Monday, March 24, 2014

Jimmy Grants

On a lazy Sunday afternoon with a hungry tummy, I found myself in front of Jimmy Grants. This is a place that has been on my "must visit" list for a long time. Jimmy Grants is similar to Gazi but much more informal, with a less spacious venue (think side lane, funky music and pumping out lots of soulvas) and a smaller menu offering.

To start we got the famous Jimmy's Dimmy. I was quite interested to see George's version of dim sims. I'm normally not a very big dim sim fan. My parents operated a catering/take away store for most of my childhood. Hence in my eyes, my dad's dim sims were always the best. A lot of people claim that South Melbourne dim sims are delicious but I still find them too heavy handed in MSG and pepper. I was expecting to be disappointed but surprisingly I found myself reaching for a second dim sim. The skin was thin and the filling was juicy with good cabbage/meat ratio.

D and I each got a souvla each. D went with the patris soulva which has a filling of prawns, honey, mayo, cucumber, mint and coriander. The mayo was smooth and sweet once combined with the honey. Together with the cucumber and mint, this made the deep fried prawn soulva have a lighter feeling. I loved the crisp and fresh feeling from the cucumber and mint.

I was slightly greedy and couldn't decide on the lamb or the chicken so I went with the bonegilla which had both! (Win!!) However I was a tad disappointed, the pita bread was not as fluffy as I had hoped. The lamb was very succulent but the chicken was not as juicy as I would have liked it to be. However the mustard aioli and that onion.... Sweet and juicy onion, oh it's so good!

The chips, were definitely the highlight of the meal. I love the fetta, garlic oil and oregano combo! I couldn't stop reaching for more, think if it were twice cooked chips, it would have been even better!

Overall 16.5/20. I am a big fan of Gazi, (as many of you will know) and during the whole meal, I couldn't help but compare Jimmy Grants to Gazi. I know they are both George Calombaris so I think that's why I keep thinking they were be the same. Jimmy Grants has a great offering and a soulvaki that makes you want seconds, but the pita bread was a bit of a let down. However everything else such as the chips and dim sims made up for it. Also, with Messina only a few steps away, I will definitely be back!

Jimmy Grants on Urbanspoon

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Mrs Kim's Grill

Based on Ktown (Koonang Rd) in Carnegie, Mrs Kim's BBQ is as the name suggest, it's a Korean BBQ restaurant. With a bright yellow sign and big open spaces, this one where you walk out slightly less stinky/smoky.

We got a few sets to share. The Moo set came with galbi beef ribs and skirt steak. The ribs had a beautiful marinate and when it was cooked it fell off the bone. This was my favorite set of the night.
The Oink set came with a choice of chilli/soy pork belly and pork neck fillet. The soy pork belly had a sweet marinate and wasn't too fatty.

The Cluck Cluck set came with chilli/soy marinated chicken. Given it's chicken, it's quite easily overcooked. Chilli marinate wasn't too spicy. Chicken just wasn't very exciting so the one set was more than enough.

We also got salads with the sets and ordered a few extra beef ribs and ox tongue. They have 3 salads to choose from: tomato and avocado salsa; smoked salmon and onion; Ssam greens. Nothing exciting there but it's good to see a salad option at a BBQ place.

All the sets come with soup of the day (ours was miso beef), corn and potato. Corn is always a winner in BBQ but with the potato make sure you take it out of the container and leave it on the BBQ for some time. Each set also comes with 2 servings of rice.

Overall 13.5/20. I really liked the beef ribs and ox tongue. I will definitely come back, it was great service and atmosphere. I like the open plan where there is more ventilation. There was 6 of us and it cost us just under $200 all up. We all got drinks and left feeling full.

Mrs Kim's Grill on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

HuTong Dumpling Bar

If you live in Melbourne, enjoy eating dumplings and have not heard of HuTong then you are in for a nice treat. HuTong is considered by many as one of the best dumpling bars of Melbourne. Located on Market Lane, opposite Flower Drum, it's a small 3 story restaurant with a strong emphasis on oriental decor and a big dumpling making area at the front of the restaurant.

  I took my grandparents here on the weekend as a bit of a treat for them. To start off we got the hot and sour soup. This was quite spicy, so I would not recommend it for individuals who cannot handle their spicy dishes. It was a thick soup with lots of black fungus and mushroom bits. I would've liked another element in the soup, such as a stronger pork or duck broth base. But it's not bad, I am just being picky.

Spring onion pancake, done in the more articulate manner. Fluffy centre and generous amounts of spring onions and chives. Glad to see they don't just serve the frozen variety like a lot of other dumpling places.

Xiao Long Bao (aka XLB)  is their hero dish. They have the skin in the just right thickness, it never falls apart when you pick it up. It holds the soup beautifully and the filling is just the right level of saltiness and temperature.

Pan fried dumplings also made on premises and as the visual suggest, with care and consistency.  Crispy base but soft top. The filling again was done just right for my liking. Not too oily and not too salty and MSG-y (I know it's not a word, but you get what I mean).

Won ton with chilli oil is a more delicate parcel of pork, prawn and small amount of greens. The chilli oil is not as spicy as it looks. I love the hint of sweetness in it and the silky won ton skin.

String beans with mince pork is always a favourite of mine. The pork and lap cheong bits make it that much more interesting. The beans give that lightness to the meal to balance out all the meat and carbs. Beans weren't over cooked and retained the bite.

Dong Po pork is something my grandad use to get as a treat, when he was a child. To him this was a dish that bought back a lot of memories. He really enjoyed it, however I found too fatty and too heavy for my liking.

Shredded pork with bamboo shoots was very sweet. I would have prefer maybe a bean paste in this dish as well to balance that sweetness. It's not something I can eat a lot of, as I can see myself getting sick of it quickly.

Shanghai fried noodles is like you would expect in any other restaurant. Nothing exciting about taste in or ingredients. The noodle was cook to the right softness but in terms of taste it was your typical dark soy sauce combination. 

Seafood claypot was a nice surprise, the sauce was just right and not too thick. The scallops and fish still have their freshness and natural flavours in tact. Didn't feel like that thick heavy sauce, but more of a perfect finishing for the claypot.

Overall 16.5/20, they excel with their XLB and pan fried dumplings in my eyes. Good thing is most of their other dish were of a decent standard as well. They are well priced too. It's good for both a family dinner, date night or catch up with friends.

  HuTong Dumpling Bar on Urbanspoon

Date Night Resturants

So you have a date night coming up but no clue on where to go? Maybe this can help!

If you are after a fun, casual night:
  • Gami is great for a first date. It’s casual and if your date hasn’t tried Korean fried chicken before you'll introduce them to something deliciously new. If they already know about it, then even better! Who doesn't like fried chicken (if your date really doesn't like fried chicken.... what are you doing with him/her?? jk)
  •   Sushi Hotaru is a small and cozy kinda place. The big plus here, is you get to sit pretty close to your date and have a  train of food go right past before your very eyes! No need to fuss over a menu or wait for your food because it's all before your eyes. With the price set for most plates, you won't have to worry about a nasty shock when the bill comes either!
  •   Hutong is the place to go if you want to impress your date with good dumplings. Their Xiao Long Bao are famous and for a good reason too. It's a fast paced restaurant so you can get a good feed before you move onto the next part of your date
  •  N2 is not exactly a restaurant, but it's a pretty easy way to kill an hour or so for $6 a pop or as a post dinner date. Your date will be amused by the way the gelato is made, while you get to enjoy the smooth yummy texture in a whole array of different flavours! The best part about N2 is that their menu changes every week – always different, always interesting and may even quickly become your favourite date spot.
  • Gypsy and the Pig specialize in Japanese pork dishes. It’s a small cozy place and you will spot a pig whichever way you turn your head. The offer pork belly dishes done in a variety manner from crispy to stone pot or in a sushi.
  • Mrs Parma is as the name suggest, all about the Parma. Your date will get a wide selection of different types of parma and sauces. It’s very casual and heaps of cider and beers to choose from.

If you are after a semi romantic night
-       Meat Wine & Co is situated by the Yarra River, so you can enjoy a good steak with a lovely view. After your meal, you and your date can go on a post-dinner stroll and watch the fire display outside Crown.
-       Koko really hits the spot for some great Japanese, but my tip when venturing here is to ask for the window seat. You will get an amazing view of Melbourne and maybe have to jump a stone or two to cross the water feature in the middle of the restaurant.
-       Cumulus Inc is the perfect place to get to know your date with great food and romantic mood lighting. Conversations will flow over their tuna tartare with green pea salad. Being on the quiet end of the CBD, it gives you and your date the perfect opportunity for a nice walk back into the city (for that cheeky post-dinner drink) if you plan to hit a bar or two after.
-       The Point at Albert Park is another favourite for steak where you get a beautiful view of Albert Park Lake and then follow it up with a nice drive. The venue is beautifully lit at night and the food won't disappoint either. I suggest the carved on the table option, just for the beautiful meat and it’s extra topic to talk about during dinner.
-       Takumi is a small Japanese BBQ restaurant with great mood lighting. You can opt to pick from the BBQ options (I would recommend the Waygu and Ox Tongue) or their yakitori. Just make sure your date knows in advance that it’s a BBQ date and not to wear their tux or silk dress. Their cuts are generally higher quality than your average BBQ restaurant so if your date likes their meat, they should walk out happy.

If you are out to impress
  •  Rockpool is well.... Rockpool, it would be rare to find someone who is not impressed with what Neil Perry has to offer. Highly regarded in Melbourne for its quality menu, the steaks are their specialty and I wouldn’t leave without having their amazing passionfruit pavlova. Their tables are spaced out enough to give you privacy and no one can eavesdrop on your conversation. I am happy to third wheel on your date!
  • Cutler & Co in Fitzroy is a place most foodies would have heard before. Impress your non-foodie date with Cutler & Co’s innovative menu (like their grilled beef rib with sesame) and lush decor. Or if you prefer something traditional, let them wow you with how good roast chicken can taste.
  •  The Press Club is still around, it has just gotten smaller and moved next door to make room for its sister store Gazi. This is where George does his best work and innovation comes out and the layout is very modern and chic to match the food style. It's a mix of contemporary and Greek.
  • Attica is a world ranked restaurant (21st in the world to be exact) and winner of the coveted three chef hats. Menu is definitely on the innovative side (think fish cooked in paper bark). Ben Shewry loves to experiment with flavours, delighting and exciting your senses (some of the produce he uses comes out of his own garden). But make sure your date appreciates good (and adventurous) food, otherwise you might get a WTF reaction for some of their offering. Oh and book ahead.... not weeks more like months!
  •  Grossi Florentino is not just fine dining but it’s also an experience. Impeccable service from taking your coat to giving you a goodies bag to take home to continue the food journey at home. Creative pieces between meals as compliments from the chef (yes that’s sometimes Guy Grossi himself) and mains that you will have difficulty faulting.

If you are just after something fast and easy (cheap)

  •   Laksa King is by far the best laksa I've had in Melbourne Australia. What they have to offer speaks for itself and it's cheap too. Even if you don't like laksa, their other Malaysian dishes won't leave you with food envy either (mmm that satay chicken roti wrap yummmmm).
  • Snag Stand is great if you want a pre-movie bite that's fast and leaves room for dessert. With plenty of different hot dog combinations and tasty chips too, it beats other fast and easy options  like Maccas.
  •  Shanghai Street is where you can great dumplings without the hefty price tag. There is a massive queue out the door for a reason! You need to eat fast here and this place is definitely not one to take your date to if you plan on having a serious long conversation. Their chili oil, peanut wonton is delish, if you can handle spicy.
  • Mamak is good for fluffy roti and satay sticks. No frills and can get you full for under $20.
  • Don Too is small place that specializes in Ramen at night. They do a thick broth the option to upsize and add more char siu and runny egg.


Monday, March 17, 2014

Tuck Shop Take Away

OK I think I have found my new burger favourite burger place! Fitted like a school tuckshop (or some may like to call it, a canteen),chalkboard menu; Tuckshop Take Away is a small corner shop located in Caulfield. But don't be fooled, this isn't just some burger place headed up by Joe Blogs. The owners are not newbies to the world of food. From my research, I found out that between the husband and wife team, they have worked at Attica, Vue De Monde and Fat Duck. So to say they have a pretty damn impressive CV is an understatement.

Enough background, onto the most important thing.... the food and milkshake.

The burgers come in 2 options, beef or vego. So beef it was, and in a meal option for me! The meal comes with a burger, triple cooked chips, tart and a drink. Sounds average? Don't be fooled, let's start with the chips; crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside and with just the right amount of salt (definitely a big WIN in my eyes). I actually can't decide if the best part of the meal was the chips or the milkshake... 

The burger, just bought back memories of wanting that burger so badly while waiting in line, at the school canteen but only it was way better than the stuff you get at school! Great patty and when you add an egg it, makes it even better. The patty ticks off the all boxes (ie, texture, juiciness, flavour, awesomeness etc...)

For the tart I picked jaffa. The pastry was crumbly and soft and the chocolate was still soft and runny. Couldn't really fault it, just wish it was bigger or I had another one.

Also had to try a jaffle, went with the pulled pork with smoked cheddar bechamel. I haven't had a jaffle since highschool and it was oh so good! It sounds quite simple and plain on the menu but when I started eating, I started to prefer it over the burger. Soft pork pieces were to die for.

Finally the drinks, we got the redskin milkshake and the raspberry cola. The raspberry cola was made on the spot with a soda stream and their own mix. Not too sweet and old school flavours. The redskin milkshake.... where do I begin? It was AMAZING!!! You don't normally hear me gush like this but it was red skin but creamy but not to a point that it was too thick and sickening.

Overall, 18/20. Everything that I had I liked/loved. I just wish they had a bigger store, shorter lines and even more things on the menu. The price was fair (actually I would go as far as saying, damn good, for the quality that you get). I can't wait to go back and try more milkshakes, I have my eye on the nutella milkshake and hopefully get my hands on a sundae too next time!

Tuck Shop Take Away on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Grain Store

Located towards the shady side of town (near the corner of King St and Flinders’ Lane), this is not something you would normally walk past, when you are in the CBD. Grain Store is more known for its coffee and brunch menu but with a couple of friends, we decided to be adventurous and try the dinner menu instead. When you walk in, the place has a beautiful mood to it, you walk into a light room filled with flowers and soft decor.

We were given bread to start; it was fresh focaccia bread. The bread was lovely and soft, a tad sweet and a bit too oily for my liking (it reminded me of the round Chinese doughnut).

We got 2 entrees to share. The smoked duck fillets and quail with black garlic; and the scallops. On first impressions when the scallops came there were only 3 on the plate, we had 4 people and we told the waitress that we were sharing. I found it disappointing that she didn't advise us there were only 3 per serving. If told, we could have ordered another one or something else. The seared scallops were served on a delicate pea puree and crackling. I loved the idea of the crackling on the plate.

The quail and smoked duck fillet was an interesting dish. The meat had just enough smokiness to it and it paired with caramelised parsnip. I found it quite nice and interesting.

For mains I got the sirloin steak. There was a lot going on the plate as the picture shows. My favourite part of the dish was the mushroom tartlet. I loved the play on visual. I asked for medium rare and it was cooked correctly and not overcooked.

D got the duck breast. Served with potato pearls (just small balls of potato), burnt blood orange and a very generous bed of almond dukkah, snowpea and whole grain salad. This was a very big dish and lots of elements on the plate. It was quite nice but I think altogether it was a bit much. I would have loved to have the salad on its own, or see if served as a lunch dish with bits of duck in it.

K got the pork cheek. This was a very fatty and crispy on the outside. The meat inside was nice and tender, but as a whole dish I can see it being very heavy. The butternut squash puree does well to balance it and the baby vegetable makes it feel less guilty.

We also got a couple of carb loaded sides to share. We picked the fries with chipotle aioli; and the rosemary and parmesan polenta chips. The fries were very disappointing, the main thing that caught my eye on the menu was the chipotle aioli part and it was hardly chipotle, felt just like a slightly coloured aioli. The chipotle needed to be stronger in my opinion. The fry also wasn't a fry, it was thick cut, so it should be called a chip. The rosemary, parmesan polenta chips were a lot better, strong rosemary and parmesan crumbs on a crisp and fluffy polenta chip.

We never got to dessert because we were pretty full after mains and wanted to save room for N2.

Overall 14/20. It's an interesting take on fine food. Creative with big serving sizes. Just I think it's too much going on 1 plate for most of their dishes. It good but I think their menu could do with some fine tuning. I would go back, as I'm still interested in trying their brunch menu.

The Grain Store on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Andrew's hamburgers

I have heard heaps about this place, and it always pops up whenever there is an article about burgers in The Age. I've driven past it a few times and thought it was time, I finally gave it a go. Located on a row of shops in the residential side of Albert Park, it's a small local shop and nothing fancy to it.

You should be able to spot it quite easily, as there are a few seats outside and generally a small bunch of people waiting for their burgers. When you walk in, you are greeted with the smell of patties cooking and freshly cut onions. You look up and you will see an old school menu with burgers, dim sims, potato cakes and chips. Look to your right, and you'll see photos of the famous people that have visited.

Their special menu has their most popular items. D got "The Lot" with a steak patty.  Wrapped in butcher paper and brimming with sauce, it is one massive burger. With egg, bacon, lettuce, tomato, cheese and onion on a bread roll... it is not stingy at all. So big it was hard to bite into. I think the appeal on this place is how no frills the burger is. The steak patty was nicely cook and could be easily bitten into. However don't expect any special sauce or brioche buns. It's more of a caravan park burger. You would be excited if you got this from a caravan park but not so much when you had to drive to Albert Park for it

I got the Hawaiian burger with the beef patty. Again this was a massive burger, with beetroot, pineapple, cheese and tomato. Unlike The Lot, this was not as heavy. The patty wasn't anything special though, but for what it was, it was done nicely.

We also got the regular chips to share, this was a massive bag of hot chips that reminded me of the ones I use to get from the canteen in high school. Very heavy handed with the salt and you dunk in watered down tomato sauce. Bought back memories and I (secretly) enjoyed it. In saying that, I am a soggy chips person!

Overall 12/20. I found the place a bit over-hyped. In terms of value it is a massive burger with heaps inside. Maybe I'm too accustomed to what D calls 'hipster burger joints', I still prefer places such as Huxtaburger, Grill'd (not that hipster anymore), Hammer Tong etc. The price of $10.50 for a burger but with some many other options on a similar price point I will not be making a trip back. To be fair, in terms of that local fish and chip or burger shop, it does do well and better than other of that genre. Just not my cup of tea.

Andrew's Hamburgers on Urbanspoon

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Gypsy and Pig

It was D's birthday, and what better way of celebrating it than with lots of pork belly! I read about this place a few times in the paper, and my friend K highly recommended it. It is a tiny little shop decorated with lots of pigs. With a centre bench where you can sit and watch the chef cook and 2 tables of 4. This place defines the word cosy!

To start we one of the specials, the Kurobuta handroll. This was fried pork cutlet sushi with cucumber. Nice way to start a Japanese meal, generous amounts of sesame on the outside for that added texture. 

Also, we got the fresh waygu tataki with garlic soy vinegar. We weren't really expecting too much, (I might be a bit of a snob, as I'm use to the Nobu's beef tataki with ponzu) but the taste really grows on you. The waygu was cut paper thin and the sauce went really well with it. At first the sauce felt too strong and overpowered the waygu flavour, but with each piece I liked the sauce more.

For mains we got the crispy kurobuta belly with vegetable and spicy soy vinegar in a set and the hot pot special of hot stone cooked pork belly with eggplant and kimuchi (Japanese kimchi). The crispy pork is as the name suggest very crispy and the sauce compliments it well. Along with some cabbage and beanshoot, it would make a good meal for a lot of people. The hot stone pork belly with eggplant, in my eyes, was just pork belly bi bim bap. The sauce was nice and had a nice tangy and tiny bit of spiciness to it. However I think I prefer the crispy pork over this one. The raw egg on top when poked, poured over the rice to give the rice the texture of freshly fried egg coated rice. I really like that part.

When you get the mains in a set, it comes with miso soup, potato salad, spinach and some slaw.

No dessert review as I was too full to fit in dessert.

Overall I rate them a 15.5/20. Everything was nice and pleasant, good range of pork belly. If more textures and bigger taste were introduced, it would be even better. D was definitely one happy piggy by the end of the meal!

Gypsy & Pig on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Old Kingdom - Surrey Hills

In the world of Peking Duck in Melbourne, Old Kingdom is a famous name. Don't come here expecting anything fancy, this place is far from a kingdom. The tables are covered in butcher paper (we were told it's easier to clean off the duck oil splatter that way) and lot of tables with not enough waiters.

With the Peking duck you can have it with 3 styles of eating (ie, Peking duck pancake, noodles/bean shoots and soup) for $55. Each duck comes with about 14-16 wraps, and the duck is normally carved on your table. For those of you who don't know this, the duck used in Peking duck should not be the same duck as you would normally get as a roast duck in the Chinese BBQ variety. A Peking duck is normally more dried out to allow the skin to crisp up. Anyway, it as good too see that Old Kingdom followed the traditional route and served a duck with nice crispy skin on thin warm pancakes. 

For the second style, instead of just bean shoots we opted for noodles for an extra $8. We got both their crispy noodle and ramen (it's not really ramen, I think the guy who wrote the menu didn't understand the definition of ramen). This was a massive serving but if I had to pick, I prefer the crispy noodle as that crunch was a nice pairing with the thick sauce, duck meat and bean shoots. The softer noodle just felt a bit cluggy and heavy.
The last style of eat was the duck soup with Chinese mustard. Maybe my mum cooks really good soup at house, but I just didn't rate it. It tasted just like MSG broth with chunks of tofu.

For our mains, we went a bit overboard and ordered a few too many dishes. There was the Mandarin pork, which was quite disappointing, it tasted a bit like food court Chinese take away. The pork was too soft and the sauce was too sweet.
There was the Pi Pa tofu, not a bad execution but also not excellent. You might start noticing the trend of me not liking heavy sauce finishes here.
Balachan Kangkong (water spinach), I don't know why they would call themselves Chinese/Malaysian on Urbanspoon, they clearly didn't know what this dish was suppose to taste like. Just bits of prawn paste and not enough chili or garlic.
Garlic pawn, again a very very thick and heavy garlic sauce served with a variety of vegetables. The sauce was too thick and it started to set on the table when we were half way through dinner.

Salt and pepper flounder, it was a good take on this family classic but just needed a bit more pepper to it.

Lastly my little cousin and I got the fried ice cream for dessert, purely for the novelty factor as she has never had fried ice cream before. Fried ice cream was gold brown on the outside which was good to see, but the shell that they made had a very high coconut factor. The dessert would have had a slightly nicer texture if there was a higher cake content in the shell.

Overall I think this place is purely a Peking duck place, all other dishes were very average (some I would call below average). Their Peking duck is one of the better ducks, I've ever eaten... but all their other dishes is not something I would go back for. If I was to revisit, it would just be me and the boy, a Peking duck, noodle and soup (that would equate to a very happy Ness). I would give them a 18/20 for their Peking duck but if it was an overall score it would be 13.5/20

Old Kingdom on Urbanspoon

Monday, March 3, 2014

Maru Meru

I found this little surprise one lunch time. Located near Hawthorn station, it's a little Japanese shop (by a mother/daughter team) that specialises in Japanese street food.

As I was there by myself I had to visit it twice for this review to get a better notion of what they offer. On the first visit, I got their okonomiyaki. Unlike other Japanese restaurants and take away stores, Maru Meru offered a wide range of flavours for your okonomiyaki. They also do it in a lunch special option where it's drink + okonomiyaki for $10. I opted for the pork with a calpico (just to channel that inner fob). The actual dish is quite large in size. I did struggle to finish it, after half way in I was already really full. The exterior was nice and crispy and the inside was still moist. I found it a tad too sweet at times due to the amount of sauce, but I think that's more a personal preference. I would have preferred more vegetable and less batter but overall the flavours were great and enough to make me want a second visit.

Second visit I got the yaki soba and takoyaki. I am a big takoyaki fan, so when I saw them I had to try them. They had a range of flavours ranging from traditional to mochi and cheese for the takoyaki, but I didn't feel very adventurous and just went with the original octopus. I noticed that the size of the takoyaki was bigger than places like Shuyun and  Mr Ramen San. When I took a bite I was so glad to find a big piece of octopus in the centre and it was delicious. Not just full of batter, but bits of ginger and tempura. It was very soft so it didn't hold together as well, as soon as I took a bit it kind of fell apart but the flavour made up for it.

The yaki soba also came in a $10 combo, I went with the pork yaki soba and it didn't disappoint. Generous size, with heaps of meat and vegetables.

They also do crepes but I haven't had the opportunity to try it yet.

I think I found my new favourite lunch spot. I give them a 17/20

Marumeru on Urbanspoon
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