The Ajisen Ramen at Gouger Street is the third of the chain's store to be opened in Adelaide, the first two locations being at Leigh Street in the city and the Regent Arcade in Rundle Mall. This new branch proved to be as popular as their other locations, with a crowd of a decent size when we visited.
Tan Tan Men takes its name from an alternative spelling of Dan Dan Noodles, a Szechuan Chinese dish consisting of noodles in a spicy sauce typically containing minced pork, Szechuan peppercorns and chilli oil. The broth of their Tan Tan Men had the degree of spice that is deserving of its namesake but is still suitable for most tastes. There was enough pork mince in the dish to give it a delightful meaty texture. Also included in the dish were bok choy to provide some crunch and a bit of relief from the spicy broth.
We were delighted that the chargrilled beef in their Chargrilled Ramen was tender with enough charred flavour to make eating it a satisfying experience. The broth the noodles were served in had a delectable umami flavour without being too salty and overwhelming the other ingredients.
Chargilled Ramen (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
For those wanting a rice dish, their curry dishes are a good choice. The curry was notably presented in a mound of rice shaped a bit like a bowl, helping to make eating it not too messy. The Beef Curry I chose had a generous amount of beef that was cut thin for easy eating, and the curry gravy was of a spiciness that is ideal for those not used to spicy dishes. Served alongside the curry were Japanese pickles to provide a bit of sharpness.
Beef Curry (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
A good choice for something light to sate your appetite while waiting for your main meals, the Agedashi Tofu had chunks of tofu that were quite large, with the crisp exterior setting off the soft interior. The Agedashi sauce subtly enhanced the tofu flavour and a scattering of bonito flakes provided another element of taste. To our delight, the Karaage Chicken at this branch was of the same quality as their other Adelaide branches, having the juiciness and gingery flavour that we love.
Agedashi Tofu (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
Karaage Chicken (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
The décor of the store gave it a comfortable and casual feel even though its narrowness can make it feel a bit cramped for some. Its close location to the Adelaide Central Market makes it a convenient stop for shoppers to drop by for some delicious Japanese cuisine.