Noodles, noodles everywhere. The centre of Sydney isn’t frugal when it comes to choices for noodle bars. Some are really good, some can be average and some you just wish you never went to. I’ve made it clear that I get pretty bored with the lunch options in the CBD core so one of my latest stops is this one: Menya Noodle Bar, hidden away under the BT Tower on the corner of Market and Kent. It gets frantic at the lunch peak so I made sure I arrived after 2 for my multiple visits over the week of sampling several of the things from the menu.
The first dish I go for is quite tasty. Really good actually, despite the fact Mr (what’s Japanese for tight-arse?) in the kitchen only felt like giving me two tiny pieces of meat in the curry beef (12.5). There they were all alone in a big pool of delicious gravy, slowly soaking into a mound of rice. Maybe that’s what you get when you turn up for lunch half an hour before closing.
Whenever I go for Japanese I always sample the gyoza (7.5) as it really is a favourite of mine. I love any form of dumpling, no matter what cuisine. The ones I got here were sadly on the ordinary side. Lacking in flavour, under cooked and fused together with the doughy pastry. Someone was in a rush with these, and it wasn’t me.
Specialty of the house is of course the noodle soup and its delicious options. I couldn’t veer away from the miso as it’s also one of my favourites. The flavour is to die for and perfect with the tori karaage (11.9) and noodles. The heavy-handedness of the chicken pieces seem to have made up for the lack of beef in my previous curry. A bit like an iceberg really. The several pieces on the surface were only the tip of a generous clump lurking below. I’m sure my joyful slurping could be heard as far as Hyde Park!
Something a bit lighter can be found on the “Mini Dishes” menu. Salmon gohan (5.5). Translation: chopped raw salmon on rice with shallots, nori shards, mayo, wasabi and dipping sauces. Beautiful.
The char-shu lover’s ramen (12.9) is another delicious bowl of goodness. Of course I had it with miso. The thin slices of roast pork were nice but didn’t compare to the fried chicken I had previously. Love the traditional wooden spoons you’re given to slurp up the steamy broth.
Next time I’ll have to try the tonkotsu with my noodles. A collagen-rich stock made by simmering pork bones for almost half a day and later adding vegetables. Sounds delish!