Ryo’s Noodles, Gouger Street

20150317_185607a rather massive bowl of spicy noodles

Disclaimer: I was a guest at a blogger dinner at Ryo’s Noodles

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to a dinner at Ryo’s Noodles on Gouger Street. Being a die-hard carb junkie I had no choice but to attend. However, I’ll let you in on a little secret. I’ve been to Japan but once. And that ‘once’ was a lay-over at Narita Airport. I was really lucky in that I was travelling with a friend with a strong command of Japanese and we spent an excellent night out in Narita eating eel and drinking beer. But that is where my experience of Japanese food as cooked in Japan starts and ends. I love soba noodles (on that journey I flew JAL and cold soba noodles were offered at every meal – I was in heaven), I’m less keen on udon and ramen tread a happy middle ground.

Now we have my non-existent Japanese food critiquing credentials out of the way …

Ryo’s is a small restaurant on Gouger Street and while you might miss it if you were on the look out for it, you’ll find it easily enough. It is set up with both normal tables and tall benches, which run down the centre. It’s quite smart inside, although it is very snug and I imagine that if there are large groups in (such as we were!) they end up rather dominating the vibe. But you don’t head here for a romantic date night or intimacy … this is much more somewhere where you grab a big hearty bowl of noodles on your way from A to B.

Judging by the enormous bowls of noodles that were heading out of the kitchen, I decided I didn’t need an entrée. As a bonus, plenty of other people thought they did and so I was able to try the takoyaki (battered balls of octopus which I found a little bland) and the kara-age (fried chicken – which was fine but again didn’t really pack a lot of flavour).

20150317_185354kara-age – deep fried chicken with mayonnaise … not too much wrong with that …

For my noodles, I chose the one spicy option on the menu. Having done a bit of online research before heading out I knew that a lot of people find the soups at Ryo’s too salty and so I asked for no salt (I’m usually reasonably sensitive to salt and I’d had a salty lunch!). The food all came out very quickly and I was impressed that my spicy noodles were actually spicy (enough to make my nose run!) and my request for no salt had been honoured.

It was a ridiculously large bowl of soup and I ate/drank more of it than I strictly needed to. Most of the noodle dishes hovered around the $13-14 mark which is not bad considering you will not need anything else (and, if we’re talking lunch time, you can easily pay $10 for a boring old sandwich). Given how huge it was, I think that if I were to return to Ryo’s, I would be opting for a combination of entrées (because they do have gyoza!) or perhaps trying out one of the cold noodle dishes.

Ryo’s is not licensed – I was more than happy to drink the bottomless matcha green tea on offer but I know plenty of people for whom the lack of a beer with their noodles could well be a deal breaker.

My overall impression is that Ryo’s is really much more of a lunch venue – service is quick and it’s not the type of venue where you linger over several courses. If you order noodles you won’t fit in dessert! With winter approaching, it will be the perfect spot to head for a bowl of Friday lunch ramen which will warm you up and keep you full all afternoon.

Ryo’s Noodles
80 Gouger Street
Adelaide SA 5000
phone: (08) 8410 0752
(no website or menu on line)

Ryo's Noodles on Urbanspoon

Sushi Planet, West Terrace

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disclaimer: I was a guest at the Sushi Planet launch party.

You probably need to have been living under a rock to not know that a new Japanese restaurant has opened in Adelaide. Sushi Planet has been open for a week or so now (in ‘soft launch’ mode) and you may have been the very distinctive rice decorated cars – complete with giant prawn on top – about the place. Not only is Sushi Planet doing dine-in food, it’s doing delivery too.

The menu focusses on sushi, sashimi and yakitori and, as something of a novelty, you will also find sushi rolls made with quinoa rather than rice. The launch party focussed squarely on the sushi which was brought out on huge platters for all the hungry punters although later in the piece there was also some yakitori (I missed out on that).

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The sushi was good – I think that salmon nigiri is always a benchmark dish and this was lovely, fresh and full of flavour but not fishy at all. I also enjoyed the quinoa roll I tried. You definitely notice that it’s not the standard white sushi rice and if you didn’t know it was quinoa you might think it was brown rice. I didn’t get to try everything that was on offer but different nigiri I did try were all delicious.

Inside, the restaurant is very airy and modern with big large benches running the length of the main area and giving everyone a good view of the open kitchen. As it was a lovely evening, I ended up sitting outside, at the very functional moulded concrete tables. Sushi Planet faces directly on to West Terrace but the table I was at was on the much quieter Waymouth Street side of things. It is in a slightly odd location – next to a chain pizza delivery shop and very close to one of the servos on West Terrace (the first thing my dad said when I told him where it was!). However, being on the edge of town means that parking isn’t too difficult, especially on an evening or weekend, and there is a dedicated pay and display car park immediately to the rear of the restaurant.

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As Andy and I are big fans of Japanese food (and Master 4 is a big fan of rice!) I am definitely keen to return to Sushi Planet for the full dining in experience. The menu is online and prices seem very reasonable. The food we enjoyed at the launch party was fresh and beautifully presented – and with sushi, you can’t ask for much more than that!

Sushi Planet
1/60 West Terrace
Adelaide SA 5000
1800 787 447

Sushi Planet on Urbanspoon

Japanese Curry Powder

Japanese Curry Powder

 

Every year (ish) my friends and I attempt a ‘curry season kick off’ lunch. In the past we’ve focussed on a single dish (pork vindaloo, rogan josh) but this year Andy suggested looking at a region, to allow the cooks a bit more flexibility. As some friends of ours are set to visit Japan in a month or so, my brainwave was Japanese curry.

Yes – Japanese curry is a ‘thing’ . While perhaps not the dish most representative of Japanese cuisine for those of us in the west, it is very popular in Japan. Unsurprisingly, it was introduced to Japan in the late nineteenth century by the British and since then has undergone something of a transformation.

You can actually buy Japanese curry roux in most large Australian supermarkets, but I was basing my contribution to this lunch around a recipe Andy had cooked several times previously. This recipe doesn’t make use of a roux and just specifies that one should use some Japanese curry powder.

As Andy was off at work, I didn’t have the luxury of asking him what he’d used in the past (it transpires that the answer to that question was ‘garam masala’ …), so I immediately googled, hoping we had enough spices to cobble together my own approximation.

Happily, we did – I used a combination of sources, some of which only specified ratios, some which specified spices we didn’t have, to create the following.

I won’t be posting the entire curry recipe for some time (we, er, might have eaten it without taking any photos) but I thought I would write up the curry powder – if only so that next time I am not left scratching my head.

This curry powder will work in any situation where a recipe (Japanese or otherwise) calls for curry powder. As it contains very little chilli it’s perfect for anyone who wants some complexity of flavour without heat.

Japanese Curry Powder

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp chilli powder or cayenne pepper
  • 1 clove
  • ¼ tsp fennel seeds (optional)

Instructions

  1. If any of your spices are whole, put all of the ingredients in a spice grinder and grind, otherwise just mix together.
  2. Store in a clean jar in a dark drawer or cupboard.
http://eatingadelaide.com/japanese-curry-powder/