Friday, August 15, 2008

Menya - Haymarket

Menya. Translates to 'noodle shop' in English.

Translates to lack of parking and cash only - for those who drive and habitually CC their way through life.

Nonetheless, the obstacles were encumbered and we were seated, rather too cozily, on a long shared table. I clutched my stomach and hungrily slurped my Calpis Water as I awaited my noodle to come. And it did.

I had ordered an awesomeness-looking ramen: The Ni-tamago ramen ($9.90). Unlike what the name suggests, the 'ni-tamago' which should really mean 'two-eggs' really came out as 6 half-slices of perfectly cooked soft-boiled egg. Resting on a tonkotsu soup base and served with bean sprouts, naruto, and a piece of seaweed. Compared to Ryo's, the soup was less thick and less potent. But ofcourse, we need to stop comparing it to what might be the best ramen in Sydney! The only complaint my partner had about it was the lack of meat but that suited me fine. Swap me a perfectly cooked and seasoned soft-boiled egg for a piece of meat anyday!

Ni-tamago Ramen ($9.90)
Close up of the seasoned tamago

My partner ordered the Kogashi-ninniku Ramen ($9.50). Not as impressive-looking as my ramen, it comprised of caramelised garlic oil, crushed garlic, bean sprouts, pork, naruto and a piece of seaweed, all served on a Tonkotsu soup base.

Kogashi-ninniku Ramen ($9.50)

Menya offered "mini" rice-dish bowls for prices as low as $3.50. So, tempted, my partner and I shared a salmon rice dish. Quite average tasting, but it was surely cheap!

Salmon Rice

After we ordered, I noticed the 'Gozilla Ramen' - a ramen challenge where you have to finish over 2 kg of ramen within half-an-hour. If it is finished, your meal is free! (but if not, there is a price to pay. A dear price of $29.95 for a bowl of ramen). Nonetheless, if you happened to be absolutely famished one day, and you feel like eating noodles like there is no tomorrow, you can attempt to conquer the Gozilla!

Being a small cozy noodle joint, offering a cash only, order before you seat service, I suggest to all those out there who live off their CC to stop by an ATM first. Also, being in the middle of the city, public transport is not such a bad option. The periferals aside, the ramen is better here than at some other places in the city.

Food - 6/10
Service - 5/10
Ambiance - 6/10
Value for money - 7/10
Overall - 24/40

Level Ground, Shop TG8, 8 Quay St
(entrance from Thomas Street)
Tel: (02) 9212 1020

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