Today, when just about every other cafe serves sushi. The master sushi chef is something of a rarity.

This documentary gives you an insight into the world & thoughts of Jiro Ono -who started on his path since the age of 9. Sushi is probably on my top 5 list fo all time foods. But to have it prepared by someone with the level of dedication and skill.. I might just die. Looks good.. Start saving up .. The minimum entry fee is said cost around $300.

“All I want to do is make better sushi.” – jiro reminds me of an old martial arts saying. The master is a student always, as he seeks perfection daily.

I remember a trip my girlfriend (now wife) and I made to Penang with a sole mission to find the best Char Kuey Teow. Armed with a guidebook and plenty of advice we made our way to Kuey Teow mecca. We certainly pushed ourselves, having 5 meals of Char Kuey Teow a day on top of Penang’s famous asam laksas and Chendol. Char Kuey Teow in Malaysia is never bad.. but in Penang it was just the best. Every experience superb.

Here in Melbourne, even good Char Kuey Teow is just hard to find. Some say it’s because the CKT here lack cockles, and others reason it down to the lack of Wok Hei – the breath of fire so important to Chinese stir frying. My theory is that most places in Australia don’t specialise in the one dish. Hence the reason you will find Kuey Teow served with a variety of other ingredients made for simple stir fry.

If you have stumbled on a great find. I implore you to let us know at Best Char Kuey Teow in Melbourne.

Note: Char Kuey Teow can be spelled in a number of ways – Fried Kway Teow, Char Kueh Teow. Not to be misaken for Chai Tao Kway – a close cousin made with cubes of radish cake.

My first intro to the Dai Joki was on a snowboarding trip to Japan. On route to Niseko, we passed through Tokyo where a good friend was kind enough to take a group of Gai Jins out for a night about town.

We started in an izakaya with a 2 hour all you can eat and drink session. And that is where we met the Dai Joki – in English – Big Beer or 500ml of icey crisp Japanese beers. After several rounds of Joki and amazing food, one starts to get creative and the sake made an appearance culminating in what might be the first ever Dai Joki Bomb. (alarm bells)

We recalled the rest of the night from the shattered pieces of our groups memories. There were flashes of a quick taxi ride to Ginza, hopping in and out of small clubs, a karaoke session, tambourines, a broken camera, carrying a friend down a flight of stairs. Aah.. Tokyo

If you are my friend, and you came to visit me in Melbourne. Chances are I’ll take you to an izakaya. They are just great concepts for catching catch up with mates. Good Izakayas should have a varied menu that takes care of everyone’s eating peculiarities and an extensive list of sake, which takes care of my peculiarities. Food and drink should all seem to be free flowing.

Good Izakaya should also never expect you to clear out till everyone is nicely fed and happy. Catching up with friends usually involves laughter and general happiness. As long as people are well behaved, proprietors should be cool with the volume being turned up a notch as the night progresses.

When I did get a chance for a weekend in Sydney, I ceased the opportunity to hunt down Gumshara Ramen, which has a garnered quite a following. It took me a while to find the place having wandering into several other food courts. Tip: It’s at the top of Dixon St.

Worth it. This is such a unique ramen. The Tonkatsu broth was much thicker than I’ve had before and the flavour was awesome – ultra porky. According to Gumshara’s tasting notes (sticky notes on the counter), the soup is laden with collagen having been boiled down from a bag load of bones. There is a skinnier version too for those who prefer a thinner soup.

Its a definite must try if you are into ramen, as I doubt you will find something similar in Australia. I will definitely be back for the $25 Mega Ramen with more ramen, roast pork and spare ribs.

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Pho Mekong by thatwelike

This photo of Jackie Chan & Sammo Hung serves to remind us all that even great Kung Fu legends must eat. And they eat their pho at Pho Mekong. They should think about selling postcards of this shot.

Ranked in Best Pho in Melbourne

Rock Neko @ Purple Peanuts by thatwelike

The KISS cats are just a collection of the quirky paraphernalia you will find at Purple Peanuts Cafe cafe. Its J- Rock vs Wabi Sabi theme at this little sushi joint in the Melbourne CBD.

Co Do's Bun Bo Hue by thatwelike

While Australian’s have certainly taken to Pho in the recent years. It’s close cousin Bun Bo Hue has yet to catch up to its cult status. Bun Bo Hue is made with spicy soup, which is a lot more aromatic than pho, and uses a different kind of Noodles.

I can understand that others may be put off by the sliced pigs trotter, porky aroma and chunk of blood jelly floating around. But, I love it. It makes a great change from Pho. If you are willing to give it a chance, make sure you try it at Co Do.

 

 

Momotaro Ramen - negi miso ramen by thatwelike

The best place to have ramen is undoubtably in Sapporo, Japan. Braving near arctic conditions to queue up with locals for a big bowl of soupy noodles before wandering back to your hotel for the post carb-sake sleep.

Aah.. good times. Thankfully in Melbourne we have Momotaro – a small ramen shop which has been around long before the new wave of ramen joints. Big, big bowls of happiness served here.

See more Best Ramen in Melbourne

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