I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before but the Boy and I have a massive soft spot for Japanese food. Having a free night meant that we could go on the hunt for a new place restaurant to get our fix – we always have serious cravings for it. We have a flick through the SMH Everyday Eats 2012 book and decide (after many, many umms and ahhs) to go with Manmaruya at Campsie (they have other branches at Hurstville and Ashfield).
We park on one end of Beamish Street, worried that traffic and parking would be a nightmare towards the main section. Turns out we parked right in front of Albee’s Kitchen and well, I was so close to walking in but the boy convinced me not to and said let’s get takeaway later for later. I was sold. But we didn’t because we had quite a feast in the end. I was devastated but that just means another return to Campsie, one day.
It’s a Saturday night and the restaurant is full. Luckily our wait isn’t too long as there were only 2 of us. We ended up on a shared table – something I find a little awkward and don’t prefer but we were hungry and the table was quite big.
We were overwhelmed with the options on the menu. I’ve not seen a list of ramen that long before - there were at least 20+! Heaven for all those ramen fans out there, but with a list that long be sure to keep going back and forth with what to get. Yep, that’s what happened to us.
Within about 7 minutes of ordering, our large tan-tan ramen arrives. The regular size is $13.80 for all those curious with an option of upsizing for $2 – what a bargain. We take no time to dig in!
Tan-tan ramen is sesame soup based with premium minced pork and here we also have nori, bamboo shoots and a soft egg. We lovedthe both which had a lot of depth and was very flavourful. The bowl was huge, there’d be no way I could finish it on my own; it’d be a different story for the Boy though. It was the best start to warm our bodies up, especially during winter.
I’m a huge fan of beef tataki; I’m not sure what it is but I love the texture (and funnily enough I don’t like sashimi – weird!). The beef has been slightly seared, thinly sliced and covered in a nice tart japanese vinaigrette of some sort. Lovely and fresh.
For us, it’s not a japanese feed if there is no takoyaki. The octopus balls are freshly cooked and are piping hot and they do not disappoint. Kewpie mayo (I’m sure of) and benito flakes makes everything taste so good.
I saw this on deep fried camembert cheese on the menu and I had to try it. I was won over at deep fried.
Verdict? It was interesting. I think the deep fried cheese is freaking amazing, but the cheese sauce underneath it made it a bit too rich for my liking. The boy had one bite and said nope. You see, he’s not all that big of a fan of cheese anyway. I would eat that deep fried cheese any day, but I would prefer it on its own.
Another must order at any japanese restaurant is the spider roll – the boy’s favourite! I have to say that there is a generous portion of freshly cooked soft shell crab in each peice of sushi. It’s crunchy on the outside and juicy and meaty on the inside. It wasn’t wow but it still satisfied us.
The chicken namban was a dish that was highlighted in the SMH Everyday Eats 2012 book. Deep fried chicken is topped with japanese tartare sauce and spicy shallots. The chicken was cooked nicely and had a great batter, however it was the japanese tartare sauce that I didn’t enjoy. It had large pieces of onions (I have issues with chunks of raw onion) and well, sadly it was all I could taste. I found myself scraping off the tartare and eating the chicken on its own.
What a feast that was. We usually don’t order that much food between the two of us but we were hungry little pigs. Overall we impressed with the quality of food, quick service and best of all, all the above and one can of soft drink cost us just under $60. Now that’s what you call a cheap eat!
193 Beamish Street
Campsie NSW 2194