Tag Archives : Hawthorn

Ajisen Ramen, Burwood Rd., Hawthorn { Melbourne Food Review } 3

(Chasyu ramen at Ajisen Ramen in Hawthorn)

It is a fact of life that all good things must come to an end. And so my year of maternity leave is over and I am now back at work. As much as I really enjoy working, I have no time to even eat out as much, let alone keeping this blog updated.

But try, I must. And happily, I would like to welcome 2012 with an annoucement that I have found The Best Ramen In Melbourne. So far anyway.

Now I know what you think. Ajisen? Chain ramen? Pah! But really, this Ajisen is so different from all the Ajisen ramen I have had (and I have had them in four different countries including the one in Melbourne CBD).

(Ajisen Hawthorn menu)

We went to Ajisen Ramen in Hawthorn because it is basically the closest ramen joint to us and one weeknight when I have a craving for ramen (I do that), I decided that we should give this new(ish) joint a go. It was rather quiet with only one or two patrons. I suspect that, being near Swinburne University and right at the lobby of UniLodge, it does a bit more roaring trade during the lunch hours.

Ajisen does their ramen Kumamoto style – that is, with tonkotsu broth (rich, white, pork bone broth) that has been cut with a little bit of chicken stock. The result is a lovely well balance broth that, while fairly rich and fragrant with its pork fat glory (yes, I said pork fat glory, get over it), is not so stickly fatty and rich that you feel ill after two spoonfuls (though admittedly I have absolutely no issue putting away a large bowl of one.)

Josh went for the Chasyu ramen ($11) which turned out to be the absolutely correct choice. The broth was delicious. Excellent balance between great flavours and not too salty or rich. The noodle was bitey and firm. The roast pork, or chashu, was so meltingly tender and just so damn perfect. The crunchy wood ear strips provided a great balance of texture. The egg was just a touch too well done for my liking but I’m happy to report that I have been back twice since and the egg is now perfectly soft boiled.

What a great bowl of ramen.

(Volcano ramen – $12?)

Unfortunately for me though, on our first trip, because I was in a mood for spicy ramen, I ordered their Volcano ramen. It was a mistake. The Ajisen volcano sauce in this instance was so overpoweringly spicy and bitter than it completely ruined the dish. (more…)

Melbourne Food Review: Liar Liar, Hawthorn 11

It was not without trepidation when we decided to brave our little family in our first brunch out adventure since Mini Me was born. You may have found out from the previous posts that I am generally not a fan of having breakfast food because I find that most Melbourne cafes serve the same breakfast food. Eggs on toasts, pancakes, French toasts, Bircher muesli… not  hard to make at home, right?

But Liar Liar, of course, is a special little gem within our neighbourhood so we decided to take our little two-and-a-half-month-old baby for her first cafe visit. I was very impressed with the lovely modern decor but most of all the incredible amount of space in the dining room that would have fit prams with not a lot of problems at all.

(potato rosti with smoked salmon, red onion and rocket leaves)

The breakfast menu didn’t disappoint – while you can have your usual eggs on toasts with all the trimmings, there were other more interesting options. Josh opted for the potato rosti with smoked salmon. The rosti was perfectly cooked and went perfectly with the salty smoked salmon, onion and peppery rocket leaves. His only complaint was that he wish there were more food! (more…)

Melbourne Food Review: SiChuan Dining Room, Hawthorn 11

Oh my god, I am so stoked about this place. I have read John Lethlean’s reviews on Epicure (review 1 & review 2) and in both reviews he stressed about how interesting the menu is so we decided to give it a go one (very) late Saturday lunch.

From the outside, the restaurant looks just like any other suburban Chinese restaurant (which was why we’d never been) but the dining room was large and spacious (I guess it also helped there only three tables were taken up) but the inside was rather nicely decked out. We, of course, have a TV playing Hong Kong movie in the corner (you’d need that).

It was yum cha hour but I decided that we wanted to try their menu. The menu was awesome. It had all the interesting things not available in your typical Chinese restaurant. I was so excited at how interesting the menu is. I have never even heard and or read about many of the items. So, with that in mind, please don’t think too badly of me that I ordered four dishes between the two of us. (more…)

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