This month two different cafes are serving Japanese specials: one a home-style ramen, the other a contemporary take on kakigōri (a shaved-ice dessert). Here’s where to get them.
Eugene Leung, owner of Cool Mac Cafe says: “My chef Jun Okamatsu and I are both avid fans of Japanese food, in particular ramen, and that led us to serving ramen specials at the cafe.”
The menu features the popular O.G. Kumamoto Tonkotsu. The pork bone broth is the star of the dish and is brewed over three days. It’s poured over chashu (stewed pork), menma (fermented bamboo shoots), nori, ni-tamago (marinated soft-boiled eggs) and shirago negi (julienne-cut Japanese leek).
Leung says it had, “every ramen enthusiast saying it was one of the best bowls in Sydney. It’s easy, cheap and filling. It’s Japanese soul food.”
The second ramen dish – Torgara Shoyu – is seasonal and will only be available this month. It’s made up of chicken bone broth, sous vide chicken, menma, nori, ni-tamago and shirago negi.
Both ramen dishes are $16 a bowl and will be served from 5.30pm until 8.30pm every Friday.
The vibrant Japanese shaved-ice dessert is traditionally flavoured with syrup or a sweetener, in this case condensed milk.
“We’ve put our spin on kakigori and used more complex techniques. We’ve created flavour combinations based on different cultures or dishes,” says head chef Zacharay Tan.
Week one kicks off with a focus on the flavour of taro. The dessert is called Taro ABC and involves butterfly pea flower ice shavings atop bubur cha cha (a South East Asian coconut dessert). It’s finished with taro ice-cream.
“[It’s] created using bits and bobs from Asian cultures including ube [a Philippine dessert made from boiled and mashed purple yam] and coconut jellies.
During week two you can try kakigori inspired by Black Star Pastry’s iconic strawberry-watermelon cake. It comes with shaved-watermelon ice-cream, rose ice-cream and fresh strawberries.
The mango lassi dessert rounds off the series in the third week. It’s modelled on the popular Indian drink and includes mango, shaved ice, mango sorbet and whipped yoghurt.
As for week four, you’ll have to turn up to find out.
Available Monday to Friday 7am to 3.30pm and Saturday and Sunday 8am to 3.30pm.