Menya Oiden, Sydney
First it was Menya Mappen – Noodles (ramen or udon) and self serve tempura. Now the new Menya Oiden, similar concept to Mappen but instead of noodles, it is actually rice – rice bowl bar with any toppings you want.
If you have been to Mappen, then you will be quite familiar with the ordering system. You queue at the counter, choose a drink from the fridge if you want, order a rice bowl from the menu (beef bowl, yakitori bowl or curry), add as many toppings as you like, in this case deep fried kushiyaki, pay at the cashier (cash only), eat and return tray after eating.
Oiden is right next door to Mappen, and it is a larger restaurant with ‘outdoor’ seating. It was quite busy by the time we arrived at 12.30pm. Once you order what type of rice bowl you want, you choose your selection of kushiyaki – delicious fried goodness!
For the deep fried goodness – deep fried eggplant ($1.50) which I loved and cooked to perfection and pork tonkatsu ($2.50) – which had a crunchy exterior and tender meat. Loved the deep fried goodness but I have always been a sucker for deep fried food!
C opt for the medium ontama tuna tataki bowl ($6.50) – minced tuna belly on rice with wobbly onsen egg! The tuna belly did not look like the one in the picture, however, it was incredibly tasty!
T on the other hand, couldn’t decide what he wanted but finally settled for the medium ontama yaiktori bowl ($6.90) – grilled chicken and ontama on rice. The chicken was tender but he thought it was quite ordinary and nothing special.
I have to say, I do prefer mappen – the bukake udon is just incredibly tasty and delicious! The sukiyaki beef just does not compare – it lacked something, I can’t put my finger on it. Could be because I am not a huge fan of rice and Oiden has that home cooked feel to it. It was just very unsatisfying, I was tempted to go next door for my bukake fix, but that could be a little bit of an over kill! C who is a regular diner at mappen, agrees with me and T was just utterly unimpressed.
If you are a rice person then this is the place for you – it is quite reasonable priced and I do love the selection of kushiyaki. However, I am definitely a noodles girl and love mappen! Now I need my fix!
GA’s rating: 6.5 / 10
537 – 551 George St (next to Menya Mappen)
Sydney NSW 2000