Building on the 24 hour Russell St corner in the CBD, Menya Sanadime has opened next to Stalactites and offers an asian option to late night cravings post partying/clubbing/shenanigans. An unassuming traditional Japanese shop front, a sign boasts 24 hour service, though I chose to dine at a respectable hour.
Inside, you are greeted with Irasshaimase from all corners of the restaurant, and promptly seated and handed your menus – which take the form of wooden boxes.
Dubbed their signature dish, Tsukemen ($13.5) various vegetables and special spicy seafood sauce with thick and chewy noodles, is a form of ramen sweeping the city. You are served the noodles separately to the broth, and then proceed to dip and slurp up the noodles. Because of this technique, the broth is made to be more potent with flavour and ingredients, and the ramen noodles cooked quite al dente. The flavours of this were quite earthy and very spicy, with a deep delicious seafood broth.
For those after your no frills standard broth Ramen, the Menya sandaime ($11.8) is for you, despite it’s protests of being “not your typical Japanese Ramen!”. The broth was light, but full of flavour, and the pork belly cooked for 80 hours in house really paid off. Full of flavour, but of course as you’re only given two slices, made you crave it even more.
When the Yaki Ramen ($15.0) roasted ramen noodles with tonkotsu soup, fried seafood, vegetables and sauce, came out to the table I was quite surprised. It reminded me of pan fried claypot noodles, Chinese style. The sauce was quite thick, and the vegetables were all prepared in the same manner. The flavours were even quite similar, with barely any hint of Japanese flavours. Nevertheless, the flavour was definitely there, probably due to the strong fried seafood tastes, but do not order this if Ramen is what you are expecting.
The Gyoza ($4.8) were without a doubt pan fried – perfectly crispy on the outside and tender pork filling on the inside. That being said, Hakata’s gyoza are higher quality and way tastier!