I'm a teacher, musician, blogger and uni student living in Sydney and always dreaming about living & experiencing a new corner of the world. Visit my blog at www.youngoldtraveller.wordpress.com.
Published May 18th 2015
Eat a cheap, hearty and quick meal in the CBD
On a cold wintry night in the middle of the CBD on a weeknight, my friend and I were desperate to find a warm-looking and welcoming restaurant. This was how we found Ramen Zundo, which was along a corridor full of restaurants in the heart of World Square Shopping Centre- the only shopping centre in the CBD that offers fresh and prepared food, a diverse range of fashion, homewares, lifestyle items and services. Ramen Zundo was by far the most popular restaurant along the strip of restaurants, with brightly lit red and white lanterns and Japanese characters that seemed like it was a modern attempt to transform you to Japan.
We had a hard time deciding what to order on the menu, as everything was really cheap, which is a huge plus for anyone eating out in the CBD. It was very helpful that everything on the menu had pictures, so it saved me the trouble of Google Translating everything I saw on the menu, like I'd normally do in a Japanese restaurant. For a view of their menu, click here.
Because they wanted to keep everything sufficient, you had to pay at the counter, which gave us no trouble whatsoever. You also needed to get your own water at a station on the corner of the restaurant, along with other sauces (e.g. soy sauce, chilli sauce).
When I say efficient, I really mean it! Seeing their open kitchen, the chefs didn't seem to need a lot of communication, but I kept seeing bowls being put up above the counter. In less than 5 minutes, we'd gotten all of our food.
We first ate our pan-fried gyoza, which is always a popular option amongst diners. I should also mention that upon ordering, the kind lady at the counter also warned me about the gyoza having to take 5 minutes, which was a very considerate gesture. This warning showed me that this restaurant was indeed a very face-paced restaurant, which is absolutely perfect for workaholics like me.
We both loved the gyoza as it wasn't too oily and the fillings didn't fall out before we finished eating it. It was very flavoursome without having too many punchy flavours. No wonder almost every other table had ordered this too!
My friend had a "Chicken Katsu and Karaage Don" ($11.90)- chicken schnitzel, deep fried chicken thigh fillets, rice, miso soup, salad and miscellaneous ingredients to add flavour. He said that they actually gave generous amounts of succulent meat, instead of having an over proportion of the crumb. He also said that this was probably one of the first restaurants that gave him enough cream to eat with the meat AND the rice. In fact, he commented on the amount of sauce available for everything (the salad dressing and the sauce that lingered over the meat without being too overpowering). Nothing was too bland in that meal, but it wasn't too punchy either.
I had a "Tokyo Soy Katsu" ($13.90, which was actually the most expensive thing on the menu)- chicken schnitzel in a chicken broth with eggs, seaweed and miscellaneous vegetables. On a cold night, nothing felt better than slowly eating my way through a massive bowl of noodle soup. With my first sip, I could smell the delicate aromas of the broth, which actually conjured my memories of my Japan trip earlier this year, where I had noodle soups for every meal! Despite my friend commenting on the fact that he doesn't like the taste of soggy katsu, I had a different opinion. I actually thought it was more tasty than your normal deep-fried katsu, as I was able to taste the hearty broth that permeated through each and every piece of meat. The noodles were very thick and soft, and had very similar texture to the ones I had in Okinawa. The only criticisms I would give was that although I'm a huge fan of eating eggs, it just felt a bit out of place. Perhaps in the way that it was cooked? Also, I couldn't finish the soup at the end at it got a bit too salty for my liking (it was actually only about two spoonfuls worth of soup).