Sunday, August 17, 2008

Menya - Haymarket, Sydney.

If you try and list the eateries that specialise in ramen in the City, you can probably count them using only one hand. There's Ramen Kan, Wagamama, Ichiban Boshi, Kura and Menya (which we recently visited). From reasons unknown to me, Menya appears to be the one of the places that does it better. Maybe it's the location? Nestled next to a variety of other cuisines with staff urging you to their premises. Maybe it's the atmosphere? Plain and Simple - the focus is on the focus; everything else is minimalised. Maybe it's the Godzilla Challenge? Drawing eager competitors to test their food capacity. Maybe it's the variety of dishes offered at more-than-decent pricing? The wall of ramen and combination meals daunts most customers as there is so much to choose from - and regardless of choice; every dish is done well. Or maybe its the allure of it's affiliations? Being part of the I'S Group which boasts highly popular eateries such as: Suminoya, Rengaya and Koh-ya.

Going with groups means a greater variety of dishes can be ordered and sampled (for the next time you go!). But let me warn you now, if you are going with a group of more than 6 people during the busier times of the day or night, the wait for a seat can be expected to border close to half an hour as the seating capacity at Menya is around 40 patrons. The close proximity to parking in the side-streets as well as Market City makes it a great place to drop-in and have a quick meal.

I wonder if it's possible to buy a tray of ramen that Menya uses? I'll ask next time...even though the ramen is only as good as the stock it comes in ...

Here Comes The Food. Itadakimasu!

vegetarian_piggle's Tori kara-age Combo ($13.90): Deep fried chicken served with mixed green salad, deep fried dumpling and rice. The Combo comes with mini ramen. (review to come shortly)

Menya MEGA ramen ($15.90): Double-volume ramen noodles in "Tonkotsu" soup topped with boiled bean sprout, roasted pork, menma, seasoned boiled egg, naruto, deep fried chicken (kara-age) and dried seaweed sheet. Whilst this wasn't my ordered dish, I've had it before and can say a few things about it. This dish is for the people that have been craving ramen for weeks and want a fix that will last them for a while. It's also a dish for those that find one serving of ramen not enough (as is often the case for myself). Finally, if you're going with your other half, it's a great dish to share (and cheaper too!) when you can't figure out what you want. The stock is thick and salty. The pork is tender and seemingly melts in your mouth. The egg is perfect - the yolk not yet hardened.

I love the eggs - the deciding factor for the Ni-tamago ramen ($9.90) to be a dish that I regularly order and recommend to other egg-lovers. It's described as: "tonkotsu" noodle soup topped with many seasoned boiled eggs, boiled bean sprout, naruto, sesame and dried seaweed sheet. I'm one of those people that always leave the best to last - so I felt a bit guilty when everything had been eaten except for the 6 half-slices of egg. But the feeling disappeared as quickly as the eggs went into my mouth.

Until the next ramen craving hits...

Shop 8

8 Quay St
Haymarket 2000 NSW
Phone: (02) 9212 1020

Opening Hours: Mon-Sunday: 11.30am-2pm, 5pm-10.30pm


chocolatesuze said...

heh sadly my stomach gets full very fast nowadays so ive been getting the mini-ramen and the boy gets the mega ramen in hopes of attempting the godzilla soon lol

D said...

heya chocolatesuze :), FFichiban and I have attempted the Godzilla Ramen Challenge...we're quite big eaters and had trouble finishing it...He had around a cup of stock left and half a serving of for myself, I almost finished it...had about two gulps of stock left and a few disappointing strands of ramen.

Pics from NL's flickr:

Ramen baby!

chocolatesuze said...

heh aw you shouldve taken a foto of how much ramen was left after the challenge! those bowls looked huge man!