Posted by Jenny L on Saturday, November 23, 2013 with 4 comments
Ramen Burgers. Yes, you heard me right, ramen burgers. Taken off to a humble start, SHIZUKU is nestled among the plethora of Vietnamese restaurants on Victoria Street. Serving up Izakaya-style plates, ramen and donburi bowls, you can see how SHIZUKU would stick out like a sore thumb - for all the right reasons though.
Surrounded by dark charcoal walls, hanging terrariums and intricate light fittings, the space has a lovely contemporary feel that welcomes you in the moment you step through the door. The menu is developed by Head Chef Ken Yoshida, who has been said to have worked in some of Japan's most renowned ramen shops. Bringing his expertise to SHIZUKU, the menu offers dishes with a twist, with a heavy focus on texture, taste and innovation.
Oyster Sake Shots
Grilled Cha Shu
Gyoza Cali and Gyoza Spicy
Karaage Popcorn Chicken
SHIZUKU Ninki No.1
Kanpai ! The night started off strong, with a round of Oyster Sake Shots for all. The zensais then started to come out progressively, allowing our tummies adequate time to digest, whilst readying our tastebuds in anticipation for the next dish. To sum up the zensais, my favourite zenzai for the night, was the Tuna Tartare. A dish I could eat on and on, with the lightness and crunch of deep fried gyoza skins, freshness of sashimi grade ground tuna in SHIZUKU dressing, and tang from the spring onion. Followed closely were the Wasabi Prawns - flash fried prawns served with a Japanese inspired wasabi mayo. Extremely addictive.
Hailing all the way from New York, the next culinary mash-up, has landed in Melbourne. In place of a bun, you will find tightly packed ramen noodles, which delicately held marinated pork belly with homemade plum sauce and Kewpie mayo. As expected, there were ooh's and ahh's, and camera's flashing away as the burger was unravelled. Though it was a little smaller in size than expected, and did not look overly appealing, it still made a delicious mouthful and ticked the novelty box. It was definitely worth a try, but I think I'll stick to the traditional hot steaming bowls of ramen to curb my ramen cravings.
Tan Tan Men
Now, this is what I'm talking about ! Shame, I did not have much room to stomach my Tan Tan Men after the 10 dishes mentioned above. SHIZUKU has taken inspiration from the traditional Sichuan spicy noodles, Tan Tan Men (bouncy noodles) to bring us a big bowl of comforting ramen. The noodles swam around a thick and sesame rich broth, and featured pork mince, preserved vegetables, chilli oil and a gooey-centred boiled egg. It would be rude not to slurp this all up.
After all the savoury dishes, how did I fit in dessert ? Because it was bliss. Similar to the Chinese sweet tofu pudding 'Dau Fu Fa' , this chilled sweet almond tofu was light, refreshing and pretty much the perfect way to end the night.
I quite enjoyed SHIZUKU and believe with a little more time to grow into its own skin, they’ll be a raving success in no time. Rumours also say that ramen sushi and ramen desserts are to be expected soon. Now that's something to keep an eye on.
confessions of a little piggy was invited to dine as a guest of SHIZUKU.