Sunday, 27 July 2014

Shizuku Ramen

Address: 309 Victoria St, Abbottsford, Vic, 3067
Phone: (03) 9995 8180
Facebook: Shizuku Ramen

Have you ever heard of a ramen burger? It's a pretty cool idea - they make the burger buns out of fried ramen! I first heard of the ramen burger from a friend who seen the concept in New York and kept a mental note to myself to go find this unusual burger when I hit the States. But recently I noticed that some restaurants in Melbourne had brought the concept down under...

Last week I was kindly invited by the staff at Shizuku Ramen to come try out their new menu which included...the ramen burger! I was super excited,of course! As was my sister, a lover of all things Japanese, who I brought along with me for this food adventure. We got to Shizuku at 5:30pm - the openning time for their dinner session - and found a cute little restaurant with a lovely display of Japanese drinks and ambient lighting all around.

The staff were very friendly and proactive. They sat us down and provided us with some curried popcorn in the cutest little daisy bowl while they went to get us some tea.

I was pretty dead set on my ramen burger and my sister had decided on a ramen dish when we were offered the option of ordering some entrees. We perused the menu and finally settled on the lobster slider and crab meat croquettes.

My sister and I really liked the lobster slider. The kewpie salad and sweet lobster filling was combined with some crunchy pickled carrots and radishes, which offset its richness and made it a creamy and refreshing snack. All this was wedged between briche-y bun goodness, making it a delicious combination.

The croquettes were filled with creamy, thick crab chowder, with little golden corn kennels tucked within. They were lightly crumbed and given an additional flavour punch with the sweet plum sauce. I probably should have ripped one in half and captured the way they looked with crab chowder on the inside, but I was
slightly afraid that it would drop on my ramen burger. That's right, my ramen burger and my sister's ramen dish had arrived pretty much at the same time. Pretty efficient service!

I tried the gyoza from my sister's bowl, but not much else as my sister was pretty ravenous. There's honestly nothing like freshly cooked gyoza when you're hungry. These ones were some of the nicest gyozas I've had in awhile. The silky dumpling skins were wrapped around a lot of ginger and mince. My sister also loved the soft, gooey yolk of her boiled egg. But I've saved the most exciting dish of the night for last. I've even labelled it all for you...

I actually took awhile figuring how to eat my ramen burger at first because it was pretty big! I wonder if the waiters saw me awkwardly tackling this - I tried chopsticking and spooning it apart and ended up with mayo everywhere. Then my sister said, why don't you just lift it up with the wrapper? It's great to have a sister with common sense. So that's what I ended up doing.

It was soooo good. The pork belly was sticky, sweet and tender - not too fatty or lean. It pretty much came apart in a bite and melted in my mouth. The pickled salad and mayo was also pretty refreshing. As for the ramen buns? Unusual - like my noodles had turned into one massive pancake! It was a little bit too gummy for my teeth (I have to be careful due to dental work :/), but it was a fun experience. Once the burger sauce seeped into the patties it broke them apart, so it turned into a more conventional noodle eating experience. Well, sort of, as I was still eating it from the wrapper! Overall, I was pretty pleased with the burger, especially with its candied pork belly.

All in all, my sister and I had an enjoyable night at Shizuku Ramen. Totally wished I could have tried their pudding desserts, but we were so full by the time we'd finished! I'd like to go back one day to try out their other dishes. In terms of service, there were a few small order mix-ups due to there being so many tables of twos, perhaps a little too close together. But the waiter who first served us was really friendly. He made us feel quite comfortable, so I'd say you're in good hands if you guys are looking for some tasty Japanese food in Abbottsford!

Disclaimer: My sister, A, and I were invited to dine as guests of Shizuku Ramen. This blog post reflects my honest experiences and opinions at the time of my visit. Please note that I am a blogger who has eaten a lot and enjoys food photography, not a professional critic for any particular media or institution.


Service: 8/10
Ambience: 7.5/10
Food: 17/20

Is it worth visiting? Yes! A modern twist on Japanese cuisine.
Price range: $$ (You're looking at $5-20 for entrees and about $15-$20 for mains)

Shizuku Ramen on Urbanspoon

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