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Japanese

RaRa Chan

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.

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IIKO Mazesoba

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…

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Sushi Wow

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…

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Ima Project Cafe

Being back in Melbourne after a whole year of Covid restrictions is no insignificant event. It’s the longest I’ve ever been away from my family or friends, and just thinking about all the restaurants I didn’t get to eat at absolutely breaks my heart. So between spending as much time as I can with my loved ones, I’ve had the difficult job of deciding on where to eat in my short week-and-a-half in Melbourne. Thankfully K had a good idea of what he wanted to eat; having been in strict lockdown for about 3 months, he hasn’t had Japanese food for almost as long, and that’s how we ended up at Ima Project Café for brunch.

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Kanzo

Believe it or not, almost three years after moving to Sydney, I’m still looking for a go-to Japanese restaurant. Although I have about half a dozen good ramen restaurants under my belt by now, I’m still yet to find a cheap and cheerful place that serves casual Japanese food – the kind of place you go to on a weeknight when you don’t feel up to cooking. My search today took me out to Parramatta, to a popular sushi restaurant named Kanzo. Based on reviews, I had expected a small and fairly low-key restaurant, but what actually greeted me was a takeaway shop with some rickety stables set up next door, in the vestibule of a run-down shopping mall. Still,…

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Nakano Darling

I’m always up for an izakaya meal. There’s really not much out there better than a parade of plates and nibbles, ordered over a long meal with great conversation, and maybe a drink or two. Nakano Darling is one of the new kids on the block, located in the shiny Darling Square dining precinct. The décor may not be classically Japanese, but the vibe it evokes is unmistakeable. It is undeniably cool with its collection of neon street signs, tatami seating with wooden crates for tables, and quirky Japanese ads projected onto the concrete walls. It stops just shy of trying too hard, and the result is very appealing indeed.

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