I’ve made it no secret that RaRa is my favourite place in Sydney for ramen. And if you’re vegetarian or vegan, their sister restaurant Lonely Mouth is also remarkably good. But there’s one thing the ramen gods of Sydney have yet to bless me with, and that is tsukemen, a dry-styled ramen that’s eaten dipped into a concentrated broth. Sort of like soba but warm and way, way better. But with the people behind RaRa being so great and all, I wasn’t wholly surprised when they announced RaRa Chan, a new outpost in Everleigh specialising in tsukemen.
My love for ramen is eternal. It is one of my favourite things to eat, and if not for the existence of sushi, may possibly be my most favourite food of all time. And although Hakata-styled ramen – tonkotsu broth with a thin, straight noodle – is what Australia is most familiar with, the world of ramen encompasses far more than just creamy pork soup (though that is arguably one of the best types). I love a good spicy bowl of noodles myself, and I also have an especial penchant for tsukemen, which is eaten soba-style, dipped into a bowl of super concentrated stock. But one thing I’ve yet to have is mazesoba, a broth-less ramen tossed with sauce and…
A good few years back, K went on a month-long trip back to Hong Kong with his family, and proceeded to be inundated with so many rounds of yum cha that he couldn’t look at a prawn dumpling without gagging for months after. I thought it was pretty funny at the time, and gave him a good amount of grief over it. But as they say, what goes around comes around, and a few years later I was back in Kunming, where my relatives ‘treated’ us to so much of the oily, chilli-heavy local cuisine (basically think Sichuan food) that I’m convinced it was responsible for the gastritis I developed sometime last year.
I love vegan food – there, I said it. But I feel like this turnabout is less due to any personal development on my part, and more attributable to the fact that vegan food in Sydney is a little magical. Ramen, Pizza, Laksa – you name it, and they can do a vegan version that tastes miraculously similar to its animal-containing alternative, and probably taste better to boot. I will take a little credit however; it wasn’t so long ago that I was denouncing vegan food in favour of fried chicken.
I was craving some easy sushi, and seeing as Sushi Hotaru has been leaving me wanting more often than not these days, I decided to expand my horizons a little. Armed with an old recommendation for Sushi Wow in Newtown, I decided to get over my mental block for the name – seriously, what kind of name is Sushi Wow? – and actually try it based on its merits as a sushi train. When I first walked in, I was quite impressed (wowed?). But it’s not the interior that caught my attention; the place basically looks like your standard sushi train restaurant, albeit a clean and welcoming one. What I was impressed with was the sushi train itself, which tottered…
What’s better than Thai food? Clearly the answer is being able to get good Thai food without having to travel far. Oddly specific I know, but I really do have a hatred of trying to get around Sydney, and that’s especially the case when it’s been about 40 degrees all weekend. There’s plenty of Thai offerings around the Strathfield area, but the most popular one of the lot is Maenam Lao and Thai. I was initially worried about our chances of grabbing a seat in the small space, but as it turns out, they have a larger dining room past the kitchen – one that I think is far superior to the cramped and noisy section out front.