Sunday, 9 September 2012

Ito Japanese Noodle Cafe

On the night of our family dinner, it was really windy and cold and all of us were freezing and craving for something warm. Sushi was initially the plan but due to the horrible coldness we decided to settle for some piping hot and hearty ramen and Ito immediately comes to our minds. 

We have been to Ito a couple of times and it's a really cozy and nice little cafe that serves up pretty good ramen. Not only are they delicious but it comes in a big serving too, which is definitely satisfying for hungry stomachs like mine. This time round, a few of us decided to have something different for a change and coincidently we all had the same idea in mind. We all wanted the udon soup base but we wanted ramen noodles instead of udon noodles and that was why we sat there for a really long time deciding on what to order. In the end, the bro decided to ask if it was possible to change the udon noodles to ramen noodles instead and thankfully it was possible with an additional $1 I think. 

We decided to order a starter to share and everyone couldn't decide on one and left the choice to me. So  I decided to choose the beef tartare, something that I immediately fell in love with after someone introduced it to me. (Sorry I can't remember who it was!)

Beef Tartare

I am so glad I made the right choice as it was awesome! The sauce was tangy, sweet and salty all together and it blended really well with the egg yolk and the raw beef. One of the best few beef tartare that I have tasted, I must say (although I have not tasted a lot). The presentation of the dish is so lovely and looks so appetising too! If u ask me, it's definitely a must try! The rest of them loved it too.

I ordered a sukiyaki ramen (initially sukiyaki udon) and the rest ordered a salmon sashimi don, an oyako don and nabeyaki  ramen (initially nabeyaki udon).

Sukiyaki Ramen (instead of Udon)

I am a big fan of sukiyaki as I really love the sweet and salty broth and this sukiyaki broth does not disappoint at all. It has the right balance of sweetness and saltiness that is not overpowering and the beef was tender and tasty. Really enjoyed it as well.

Salmon Sashimi Don

The salmon sashimi don is a pretty simple dish but the salmon sashimi was really fresh and the best part of a sashimi don is that it's always served with sushi rice. Gotta' love sushi rice! Look at the presentation of the cucumbers again! How pretty is that?

Oyako Don

I am a big fan of the oyako don too (I know I am a fan of many things) and sadly, the one at Ito was only alright. Maybe there was not enough sauce or something but it just was not great. I think my favourite ones are from Uzu in Caulfield and Kimurakan in Chinatown (although there aren't many good reviews about that place). 

Just to sidetrack, an interesting fact about the oyako don is that "oyako" is directly translated as "mother and child" and they named the dish oyako don as the two ingredients used are the chicken (mother) and the egg (child). Pretty interesting. A dish derived from just one main food source.

Nabeyaki Ramen (instead of Udon)

The nabeyaki ramen was pretty good too and we were glad that we managed to changed it to the ramen noodles as the udon noodles would be a little too filling for us.

Overall, what I can conclude is that their soup based dishes seem to taste better than their rice dishes, or maybe it's because we have not really tasted their other better rice dishes. Their sushi looks pretty good as well and their menu does have a variety of food to choose from. It is definitely a place I would visit again and would recommend that you come down and try it for yourself too!

Ito Japanese Noodle Cafe on Urbanspoon

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