Sunday, September 9, 2018

Crescent Bar Ramen, Sydney (Aka Mikazuki Ramen)

I love the ramen community in Sydney! Everyone is very supportive of each other specially towards the ramen shops. A new shop in Sydney CBD has been brought to my attention early this week by Chef Tomoyuki and my homie Frankie of Mr & Mrs Chopsticks.

(Note: They are now known as Crescent Bar Ramen)
Mikazuki Ramen (not to be confused with Mikazuki Restaurant in Parramatta & Strathfield) is a hidden ramen pop-up shop located on George Street in Sydney CBD. Chef Tsuyoshi and his team will take over Club Crescent for the next 3 months Monday to Friday lunch only. Club Crescent is a hidden underground bar near Flight Centre and Hilton Hotel. The space itself has a very vintage Tokyo bar & lounge vibe. I recently visited Mikazuki with my Hopeless Ramentic Squad. Vivian, Priscilla and I actually felt like we were back in Tokyo because the rest of the customers were Japanese.

There are 4 ramen choices on offer: Chicken & pork (with a choice of soy, miso or salt bonito tare), salt lime corriander, salt shrimp and niboshi. Each ramen already has toppings and the “Toppings” section on the menu means extras. There’s also donburi’s available like pork chashu, pork mince ginger and pork garlic, which comes in large or mini size.

The Anchovy (niboshi) ramen ($15) was insane! If you’re a big fan of that strong umami flavours then this ramen is for you. The broth reminded me of Shichisai at Hatchobori’s soup which is Kitakata-style. Heavy on the niboshi in a meat soup base I’m guessing. The consistency was light but heavy and complex in flavour. The noodles are cooked medium and quite similar to some ramen shops in Sydney. It was topped with 1 whole ajitsuke tamago (ajitama), a big chunk of super tender & tasty chashu, chopped onions, kikugare and a massive shredded nori moulded together. The onion was perfect for cutting through all that fishy umami in the broth. The ajitama was nicely seasoned with hints of sweetness and a slightly runny yolk.

The soy chicken and pork ramen ($15) is pretty much a Kyoto-style kotteri ramen. Super thick almost gravy-like broth had a good balance of chicken and pork flavours with sweet notes. Umami factor was around medium level. Toppings included are chashu, green onion, 1 whole ajitama, and kikurage.

The salt shrimp ramen ($15) was very unique and reminded me of the prawn ramen shops in Osaka. The broth was mildly cloudy and had a suprisingly balanced amount of prawn umami and the salt factor was just there to bring out the goodness of the prawns. The toppings included were chashu, ajitama, onion, nori and kikurage. Again, I really appreciate the use of onion as a component to cut through the umami and saltiness in the broth.

I would definitely come back here a few more times as much as I can before the pop-up ends. Service is friendly and fast. The concept here is pretty much in line with what’s trending in Japan right now. Hit them up ASAP guys!

Mikazuki Ramen
468-472 George Street
Sydney NSW 2000
Monday to Friday lunch only
11:30am to 2:30pm
last order 2:00pm

Mikazuki Sydney Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

RaRa Ramen, Redfern

There’s a new ramen joint in town! Redfern is a growing culinary hub in Sydney and is the perfect gallery where the new RaRa ramen shop can showcase their art of ramen.


Scott Gault

Scott Gault is the man behind RaRa Redfern and a fellow ramen crusher like myself. Scott travelled different prefectures in Japan to train and get consultation to create the best possible noodles, tare, toppings and broth for Rara’s ramen. The space looks like a high end izakaya and I’m digging the ramen neon sign. The noodles they use is Hakata-style, which means it’s low hydration, thin and quick to whip up. All noodles are made in-house daily. You get a choice of three types of ramen: Tonkotsu ramen, pork shoyu and vegetarian ramen. We tried the tonkotsu and shoyu ramen.

First of all, I need to give a huge shout out to Scott for his insanely good Hakata-style noodles. Scott cooks the noodles legit katame (usual way Hakata noodles is cooked), which is a tad more firm than al dente. The noodles cooked further within the broth. The tonkotsu ramen’s ($16.90) pork bone broth is white in colour and creamy in consistency. Scott uses shio tare (salt) seasoning just to bring out the pork flavour goodness rather than giving it complexity. The umami factor is around medium level. Again, this is a typical Hakata-style practice to season the broth. Toppings include  kikurage, negi, menma, 1/2 hanjuku tamago and an insanely delicious aburi chashu. Although the menu says Ajitsuke egg, the tamago we got were not flavoured. Having said that, the eggs were perfectly cooked with a slightly runny yolk.

We also tried his pork shoyu ramen ($16.90). The pork soy broth had more umami than the tonkotsu and it also had peppery notes. It was topped with aburi chashu, bean sprouts, negi and 1/2 hanjuku tamago. It's definitely a refined bowl of ramen and also my favourite.

I’m glad to see a ramen joint that puts more emphasis on the noodles that they use. It is afterall a big part of ramen. Service is also quite fast. Go check them out guys!

Rara Redfern
60b Regent St
Redfern NSW

Tuesday to Wednesday 12pm-2:30pm, 5pm-9:30pm

Thursday to Saturday
12pm-2:30pm, 5pm-10pm

Sunday 12pm-2:30pm, 5pm-8:30pm

Closed on Monday

RaRa Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato