Saturday, June 12, 2010

Arigataya


Nothing beats having a bowl of hot noodle soup on a cold wintery night. I am always fond of ramen, and I used to have/still have this dream to travel to Japan, precisely Hokkaido just to eat a bowl of hearty ramen from a street cart when it's snowing.

Few years ago, when I first arrived in Australia, I've had bad experience with the ramen in Australia, the noodle has strong alkaline taste and the broth taste exactly like msg, it was horrible. Then onwards, I held back the idea on eating ramen in Australia. No doubt, there are a lot of sushi place and Japanese restaurant in Perth, some of them are doing some wonderful Japanese food, but not a lot of them actually put their heart into making a proper ramen. 

Making ramen require just as much attention to get the right consistency of the noodle and of course the pot of stock. Tonkotsu (pork bone soup base) broth normally takes up to a day to get that beautiful thick and silky white consistency, all taken from pork's bone marrow. Slurping on the soup, it sent you straight to heaven. 

Was heading down to Hawker's Cuisine in Northbridge the other night, I was in awed to walk past Arigataya - a relatively new Japenese RAMEN Restaurant.


Arigataya is clean, has simple decor and friendly service. There are about 40 items on the menu and half of which are different variation of ramen; you can have them cold, as dipping noodles (Tsukemen) or  in a broth (which you can choose either with soy sauce or salt). If you are not a fan of noodle dish, no biggie, there's always rice dishes like Chicken Teriyaki Don or Chicken Katsu Don, price starting from $7. They also have Gyoza, Takoyaki, Chicken Teriyaki and etc as part of their small range of side dishes but if you are looking for sushi or sashimi, you'll surely be disappointed.


We quickly order a Chicken Karaage Ramen, a Gyoza Ramen and also a side dish of Takoyaki Balls best known as Occy Balls. Water and tea are free, and you need to get it from the counter yourself. If you're a big eater, extra serve of noodles are free of charge, you gotta love Arigataya for this.

Our meal was served rather quickly, and we constantly see the Japanese Ramen Master delivering bowls of ramen goodies to the pass. Which is a good sign that I know that my bowl of ramen is in good hands.


There are 8 consistently shaped occy balls on the plate, which is looking really good, it was covered with tons of tiny bonito flakes and drizzled with Japanese mayo and BBQ sauce (who doesn't love Japanese mayo! They are so good). On the side, were some homemade pickled ginger. The takoyaki from other places are generally pretty scary, they were either too mushy or too chewy or they are too stingy with octopus. But the one here is pretty good, soft and light but not chewy in texture, best of all it was loaded with cubes of occy. At $6.50, they are indeed value for money.


When we first got our bowl of ramen, we were shocked to see the serving here is pretty decent, I don't think I'll need that extra noodles although they are for free. We chose soy sauce soup base, at first I thought the broth is going to taste like soy sauce. But when I first got the noodle, the first thing I did right after taking photos of it was to take a sip of the soup. It doesn't taste like soy sauce at all, it taste like Chashu (roast pork), instinctively I know the broth is made out of pork but not exactly a Tonkotsu broth. With thick layer of fat on top of the broth and some particles swimming in the broth, you know exactly that the Ramen master here doesn't skim on ingredients. Due to high content of pork fat, the broth is definitely not recommended for people who have heart problem and some other health issues or those who are on diet. But heck, you can still go for the one without the broth!

That was the Chicken Karaage Ramen - $14, it was served with 5 chunks of large chicken pieces deep fried to perfection, bamboo shoot, hard boiled egg, rape flower (that's the vege that actually look more like choy sum), seaweed and julienne of spring onion. The chicken were juicy and tender, but I've had better karaage somewhere else. Highlight of the topping has to be the hard boiled egg, the yolk was soft in the center and it's been braised in soy, that's why it's has a caramel colour on the outside, it was so yummy.


We also spotted the Ramen machine upstairs while on our way to the toilet, and it's a relief to know that the ramen is homemade here; so much so that the texture is actually quite good, it's springy and has a bit of bite to it.


I had the Gyoza Ramen - $14, it was served with 5 huge deep fried gyoza together with the rest of the topping you'll find from Chicken Karaage Ramen, except that this doesn't come with the oh-so-yummy egg :(.


You can tell that the gyoza is homemade too, as they were pretty generous with the filling, it was full of pork mince and vege in it. Now, you would have thought that after soaking the gyoza into the soup, the skin will be soggy and horrible. It doesn't happen here in Arigataya, well probably after 30mins but it was still crunchy when I had them.

Head over to Arigataya if you're in the mood for authentic Japanese Ramen, just forget about dieting for one night!

ARIGATAYA
62, Roe St
Northbridge
(08) 9227 7901

Opening Hours:
Mon - Sat: 11:30am - 2:30am, 5:30pm - 9:30pm
Sunday: 11:30am - 2:30am, 5pm - 9pm  

Arigataya on Urbanspoon

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