I am a mum of two and Primary School teacher whose aim is to never be home during the midday movie. I believe that I am only ever a car trip away from an adventure.
Published October 3rd 2013
Experience Ramin cooked the old fashioned way
When I think about eating at a Japanese restaurant automatically I picture platters of California rolls, sushi and miso paste in eggplant, a personal favourite. One thing I don't think of when I think about Japanese cuisine is eating it on Victoria Street which is well renowned for beautiful and authentic Vietnamese food. However both of these beliefs were recently challenged when I dined at Shizuku Japanese restaurant located on Victoria Street in Abbotsford.
The new kid on the block
It's a very new face along this iconic strip and certainly catches your eye amongst the discount stores and humble eateries. Shizuku is sleek, modern and contemporary. It aims to bring traditional Japanese fare to Melbourne and break the belief that their cuisine is nothing more that sashimi and miso soup. They also offer patrons fusion dishes which create very appealing and appetising tastes, such as Karaage Popcorn chicken deep fried in a secret batter and Cheesy Nori snacks which combines tasty cheese and seaweed.
Beautiful blossom lights float above you.
Today I was tasting Ramin an old traditional dish that is as common to the Japanese as baguettes are to the French. However it's popularity has taken its time to cross borders and only recently in the last year or so has it taken off here. Ramen is a combination meal of a rich flavoursome broth, noodles and meat or vegetables. Sounds fairly uninspiring but when prepared the Shizuku way it's a delight to eat.
Karaage Popcorn Chicken
All their seven Ramin dishes are made from pork and chicken bone stock which is gently boiled for atleast 15 hours to release the most hearty and genuine flavours. Then a sauce such as miso or soy are added to personalise the broth. The noodles are specifically made to be soft, slippery and most importantly to hold onto the broth and tastes along its surface. This results in every noodle being plump with taste. However I am told that to best appreciate a Ramin dish it's important to eat the noodles quickly before they have the opportunity to soak up too much broth and therefore expand.
Shizuku are well known for their Ramin with it being their signature dish and with rich flavours and deep aromas and very generous serves most guests will be licking their lips and their chopsticks too.I also sampled the Lotus Salad and in my mind that was the signature dish. The caramelised lotus had just enough crunch and mixed with the salad leaves seaweed, pickled carrots and the kewpie mayonnaise I could eat nothing else from here on in.
My new favourite meal, the Lotus Salad.
The staff are respectful and welcoming and the ceiling is beautifully adorned with blossom lights which create a calm and peaceful atmosphere to dine in. It appears that the owners of Shizuku are not afraid to take a risk and to think outside the box. They have broken many clichés about Japanese food as well as created dishes so unique you can't but not try them. It's always exciting to come across something new and unique and a restaurant that's not afraid to take chances to create unforgettable cuisine.