Mr Curious has a work function tonight so I asked my brother B to come over for dinner. I wasn't in a cooking mood and we ended up trying a ramen place that my friend Fleur tweeted about a while ago.
Rahmen Genki is an unassuming Japanese ramen house close to Artarmon station.
First up was a plate of gzoya ($6).
The skin of the gyoza was nice and thin as Japanese dumplings should be. The filling tasted a lot like the ones in Chinese dumplings, which was not a bad thing per se, just different from what I expected.
I am on a eating plan at the moment where I'm not supposed to have grain-based products at dinner (will blog about that soon!), so I ordered a chilli teriyaki chicken ($12.50) and asked them to serve it without rice.
I've never heard of chilli teriyaki before so I didn't know what to expect. It was quite nice actually. B tried it and say it was exactly as advertised - teriyaki chicken with chilli added. The flavours were well-balanced, I could feel the heat of the chilli without it overwhelming my taste buds (which was important because I didn't have any rice to soften the blow of the chilli). I don't know the ingredient list of a typical teriyaki sauce but this one was tomato based. The chicken pieces were generous too, although there were a fair amount of chicken skin which I removed.
B ordered a spicy ramen (I think it's called Negi but I'm not sure, $11.50).
Accompanying the ramen were 2 slices of chashu (sliced pork), corn, bamboo shoots, sprouts and spring onions. There were no boiled egg but interestingly there were bits of cooked eggs throughout the broth.
I had a taste of the broth, it was one of those spicy broth that didn't taste very hot at first but kicked in after a few seconds.
B said the ramen was not as nice as its equivalent at Ryo's at Crows Nest, but that was a pretty high benchmark to set. B also said that he preferred "clear" broth and didn't like the bits and pieces of egg in it. I didn't think it was a problem.
I ordered the Tonkotsu ramen for TLG ($11).
The choice was a selfish one - I like tonkotsu broth and wanted to try it. It was a milky-looking broth but the flavour was not that strong. I like broth so thick they're almost like soup, this was not quite it.
I couldn't resist and tried a few mouthful of the ramen and I loved its chewy texture. The chashu, on the other hand, were too thick for my liking and a bit bland.
I've had some fantastic ramen in my two trips to Japan, and a direct comparison between them and the ramen at Genki would surely be unfavourable to the latter. However it is a good casual dining option, and I didn't have to queue in the cold for a bowl of noodles like I have to at Ryo's. They have high chairs and child-friendly cutlery which is a plus for families with young kids. I'm glad to have find the joint. Thanks Fleur!
6 Wilkes Avenue
(02) 9410 3777
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