Cradled at 309 Victoria Street, Abbotsford Shizuku Japanese Restaurant is the new kid on the block. A great addition to the foodie precinct in Abbotsford, Shizuku delights and dazzles.
On a warm, sunny Sunday afternoon I tentatively pushed open the heavy door of Shizuku and stepped inside to find a humble restaurant with a simple setup. Black, wooden furniture are dotted around the restaurant with inverted flower look-alike lanterns lighting up the entire place. Euphonious background music adds to the mellow vibe of this laid back restaurant. We were warmly ushered to a table and handed a modest menu.
David Chen, the owner of Shizuku, joined us with a big smile on his face. After the initial greetings, David shared an insight into his background while conveying his inspirations and aspirations behind opening Shizuku. David worked as an assistant manager at Shoya Japanese restaurant which instilled in him a desire to open his own restaurant. As a joint initiative with his partner, Shinako Suzuki, Shizuku Japanese Restaurant was inaugurated in July 2013.
During the course of the conversation, my eyes hungrily appraised the mouth-watering options on the menu. At David's recommendation and after much lively debate with my dining partner, we settled for a pork belly ramen burger, an eggplant ramen burger and a spicy miso ramen soup.
The burgers soon appeared accompanied by small bowls of miso soup, in delicate melamine plates and bowls. I eagerly took a sip of the steamy miso soup and the first mouthful filled me with a pleasant, warm feeling. The light soup was palatable and hearty. David explained that the miso soup was cooked onsite by the chef.
I turned my attention to the interesting looking pork belly Ramen burger. The bun is made with ramen bound together with eggs and cooked on a flat-top. The very first bite of the burger ignited my hunger as my tongue broke through the slightly dry yet soft bun and found its way to the butter soft pork belly. My tastebuds experienced a food nirvana. Rendering a melt in the mouth experience, the pork belly ramen burger had me at hello. This burger immediately won both my heart and tummy with its tantalising flavours.
Next, I sampled the eggplant ramen burger. Every morsel was an explosion of flavour as my tastebuds eagerly lapped up the exquisite flavours of this delightful burger. The eggplant was soft and delicious and was beautifully complimented by the miso jam.
A coveted culinary creation hailing from New York, ramen burgers are beautifully replicated with great success by Shizuku. It immediately dawned on me as to why ramen burgers are all the rage in America. Non-greasy, light and jam-packed with flavours, ramen burgers became my instant favourites.
Our empty plates were replaced by a steamy bowl of spicy miso ramen soup. The soup was not light yet not so heavy on the palate and was quite wholesome. David enthusiastically shared that the char siu pork belly in the ramen was slow-cooked onsite for 15 hours. The procedure involves rolling the pork belly and cooking it which is later marinated in home-brewed soy sauce. Afterwards, the pork belly is sliced and furnished on ramen. The aftermath is super soft slices of pork belly which disappears into the mouth easily. The spring onion in the soup definitely enhanced the flavour of the ramen. As an added novelty, a spoon full of chilli oil was added to the soup to bestow upon the diner the flexibility of determining the spiciness of their soup by adding as much or as little chilli oil.
David advised the food had no added msg and the ingredients are usually sourced locally. Shizuku is open 7 days a week from 11:30 am to 10pm. Situated at a prime location, this restaurant is highly accessible by both public transport and car. The North Richmond railway station is only a stone's throw away. We found that parking was ample in the nearby Woolworths parking. David stated that Shizuku does catering and is available for corporate functions. You can follow them on Facebook to remain privy to all the special deals and changes in menu.
Delicious food, relaxed ambiance, affordable price, friendly service and exquisite menu earn Shizuku many brownie points. Next time you are considering suitable dining options, turn your mind and heart towards this wonderful restaurant. Shizuku will not disappoint you.