Monday, November 20, 2006

Eating Out: Kenzan

Shop G28, GPO Building
250 Bourke Street, Melbourne

I’m having a moment of confusion: my lunch was largely liquid, my drink was largely chewy, and I now have a definite “sloshy” feeling in my stomach. Hm, I’ll blame it on Monday.

But if it’s not Monday’s fault, then surely it must be Kenzan’s.

Kenzan is an absolute pearl of a restaurant in the GPO Building on Bourke Street with a relaxed feel, and offers some fantastic Japanese dining. Last week, when Madame Tummy Rumbles and I went for my inaugural visit, I tried the Niku Udon: paper-thin slices of beef with other bits and pieces in a clear-brown mushroom soup with thick udon noodles (pictured above). Full of flavour, so incredibly yummy, and slurping up the noodles was definitely the most fun. For $12 I feel it was well worth every cent.

On today’s trip to Kenzan I decided to try something that the Tummy Rumbler had recommended last week: some hand rolls and a bowl of miso soup; it’s a shame I didn’t get a picture of it, particularly when we had to try and roll our own! For the sum of $9 you can get two hand rolls (from their selection of fillings) and the bowl of soup. I had two teriyaki chicken rolls, my companion chose one salmon and an eel. The soup was excellent, as our initial slurps proved. When it came to the rolls… thankfully there are instructions on the packaging. You must roll your own fillings in the nori. Once you get the hang of it, it’s quite simple. And the bonus is that the nori stays quite crisp, instead of being soggy and chewy as you normally find with pre-made hand rolls.

So that accounts for the liquid in my meal, but “what about the chewy drink?” I hear you ask. Have you ever heard of Bubble Tea? Also known as Pearl Tea. I’ve done a quick search with Google for a website for a bubble tea maker/supplier, and I didn’t find much of real use for this blog. Have you ever heard of tapioca? Or sago? Imagine big, dark, chewy balls of that jiggling around the bottom of a cup of iced tea, or iced milk tea. Hm, I’m not describing it very well, am I! In any case, both TR and I fans of the bubble. So on the way back to the office we stopped to partake. There are so many flavours to choose from, but collectively I think we’ve now tried milky taro/yam, milky red tea, milky peanut, green tea, passionfruit tea, and green apple. So far we’ve been quite happy with all flavours! I know you can find places that sell bubble tea in most Westfield shopping centres but, particularly if you're near Chinatown in the CBD you'll have no trouble finding somewhere.

I have far too many things backed up to blog. But I'll get there, don't worry!


mellie said...

You need a friggin engineering degree to unwrap those handrolls and onigiri! But it is damn well worth the effort! :-)

cybercasey said...

Hmn. Not that big a fan of Japanese food. But might give it a try after redaing yr post. How ru Anna? Happy Thanksgiving!

Anna said...

Mellie: Absolutely, it's worth it! But hmm... I have several partial-degrees, I wonder if that's good enough...

Hi Casey. I always thought I wasn't a fan of Japanese food too, but then I realised that there is much, much more to it than raw fish on rice. I actually steer clear of anything seafood-ish in general, and there's still plenty of other Japanese delicacies that I'll eat. Happy Thanksgiving to you too - we here in Oz don't notice that one passing by.