On Christmas Day I decided it was a good idea to wander down to Chinatown, since nothing was really open around where I was staying. On my way to Chinatown I passed Oiden Bowl Bar. Oiden is located on George Street and it's the sister store of Menya Mappan.
It's a affordable self service donburi (rice bowl) restaurant. It's great if you are looking for a fast, cheap feed. They offer a good range of Japanese rice bowls from fish, to chicken, beef and vegetarian. Other than rice bowl, they also have a selection of fried side dishes such as takoyaki, croquettes, fried tofu, spring rolls, seafood sticks and fried chicken.
If you want something less oily, they also offer miso soup, kimchi, edamame, seaweed salad, potato salads and soft boiled eggs.
Since I was on my own, I went with their mini bowl set so I could try more. For $9.90 you get the choice of 3 mini bowls and for an extra $2 you can get a side of potato salad, seaweed salad and miso soup.
The first bowl I got was the chicken karage bowl. Two pieces of chicken topped with mayo on a bed of seasoned rice. Simple and no frills, the chicken was tasty and not dry at all.
Second bowl was ontama tanaka salmon bowl. This was part of their healthy range menu, it had salmon flakes, pickles and a runny egg. Again the rice was well seasoned. It was full of flavour and this was my favourite bowl out of the three, the runny egg made it more 'comfort' food in my eyes and just that little bit more enjoyable.
Final bowl was the plain salmon bowl. This had raw minced salmon with seaweed and egg yolk powder seasoning on the rice. One thing I miss about Japan is all the different type of rice seasoning they had. Egg yolk seasoning was one of my favorite when I was in Japan, this time it was no different. The bowl was just simple and not boring. Only thing is I'm not a big fan of the minced salmon.
I tried the mince beef croquette as well. This was cripsy on the outside and still fluffy on the inside. I was quite surprised I was expecting it to be very dry, given how it looked.
Overall 14/20 If cheap, fast, filling Japanese is what you are after, then Oiden does that well. For less than $20, you can get nice and full from this place. It is great for the student budget or just when you don't want anything fancy, yet tasty.