Sunday, July 6, 2008

Ramen-Kan - Haymarket, Sydney

Cheese Curry Ramen

-> Another addition to the bizarre (yet sometimes tasty) cheese curry series.

Long time ago, during the westernization of the Japanese society in the Meiji era, the Japanese are very keen on mixing western ingredients to local Japanese food. During the 80s, when I was little, the notion of mixing mayonnaise and tare (Japanese sweet sauces) seems awfully weird to me, and I had no idea when did the Japanese started creating bizarre dishes that involves mixing up Japanese food with mayonnaise. Back then, I thought that Japanese people are weird people that mixes mayonnaise with everything (sesame dressing, takoyaki, okonomiyaki, ebi fry, you name them).

To my knowledge, the Japanese has been obsessed with mayonnaise ever since Kewpie produced bottled mayonnaise in the 1920s. Ever since, they put mayonnaise in literally every savory dishes. There's even a term in Japan that describes a mayonnaise lover: "Mayoler"

In fact, if I am to sum up the taste of a typical, everyday Japanese dish in a few words, I'd say: "Tastes like Shoyu, Dashi, Mirin, and Mayonnaise".

Anyway, enough about mayonnaise - let's talk curry.
Continuing the bizarre "Cheese Curry" series (tonkatsu cheese curry, karaage cheese curry, etc), I give you - the Cheese Curry Ramen.
Akin to mayonnaise, the Japanese seems to put cheese in everything. And I mean, everything. If the Indonesians add eggs to "pimp up" some dishes (congee, noodles, fried rice, etc), the Japanese would add cheese (and mayo, of course). It's somewhat risky, I guess - it depends on what type of cheese you add to the Japanese curry.

I guess the idea of adding dairy products to curries isn't that bizarre after all - the Indians add lots of yogurt to their curries since, forever. However, coming from Southeast Asia, where the notion of mixing dairy products (a "white men food" in local colloquialism) and local food seems like a taboo, the cheese curry ramen is quite a hard concept to fathom.

Don't get me wrong - I loved the cheese curry ramen. However, savoring this particular dish is a rather peculiar adventure - the tongue agrees but the mind boggles.

Rating: 7.5/10

Ebi Chilli Ramen

-> The soup is thick and rich, it almost seems gelatin-ish. Kind of reminds me of a thicker version of Singaporean Hor Fun or Indonesian-Chinese Kwetiau Siram. This item is part of Ramen Kan's winter menu - and it really is suitable for the wintry season. It's piping hot, thick, substantial, and fulfilling. The ebi chili (chili prawns) is quite sumptuous - crunchy, juicy and spicy. The addition of shaved spring onion julienne and bean sprouts complements the whole medley in a right tone. On top of it, a dash of Raayu (Japanese spicy oil) really ties up everything nicely.

Rating: 7.5/10

Note: Service in this restaurant is horrible. Some of the rudest Japanese waitresses I've ever encountered. Had to ask 3 times for water even though the restaurant was not at all busy.
The cashier is nice, though.


cla said...

so after your mixed review on the cheese curry ramen.... i was unsure if i should order it.... but mr.ardhi insist i have to order it as its really really good....

so after eating it... i must say "cla likeyy!!!"


ps. ms.chng went safe and order the rice version instead...

pps. your loss missy!

Lucy said...

My fave combination: curry+cheese! Have you tried Wakashachiya @Central? Their version sure beats Ramen Kan's!

Erique Fat Owl said...


It's not bad la. At least I think it's only grated tasty cheese / cheddar.

I've tasted WEIRDER one. In Hong Kong, I ate this cheese curry but they used LOTS of aged shaved parmesan. As you know, aged parmesan is really strong in taste. Combined with curry, it's pretty weird.

@Lucy it a new restaurant? I've only been to Central twice, and on both occasions, I went to pasta de waraku because I am so darn fixated and addicted to their salmon cheese fry thingy.

Lucy said...

It's not a new restaurant, it's on 3rd level next to Marutama Ramen. I heard it's a branch from Japan.

I still haven't tried Pasta De Waraku I'm planning to go to the one in Grand Indonesia but I can't find it ^^;;.