Where does a money-deprived, hungry, tired-looking uni student go to rejuvenate? For me, it’s either going to be Tenkomori for their tasty ramen, Oiden for their hearty rice dishes or the subject of this review… Mappen for their amazing udon! If you visit these places as much as I do, you might be familiar with the Washoku Lovers offers these stores have. Washoku Lovers paired up with these popular Japanese eateries (and many more) to create affordable offers to those who just want a tasty, fulfilling and cheap Japanese meal! Being a member is heaps of fun – there’s always competitions and unique offers around Japanese cuisine and it’s free to join! What’s not to love, right?
If you haven’t been to Mappen yet, I hope I can convince you by the end of this review that this place is essential to any uni student’s diet. In short, Mappen is a casual self-serve Japanese eatery in a cafeteria sort of format. It’s easy to personalise your meal, with different sizes, sides and drinks for you to order. No idea why I haven’t done a review on this place but Washoku Lovers was kind enough to invite me to Mappen to review the food here.
Mama’s Buoi is a lovely little Vietnamese restaurant that easily fits into the beautiful suburb of Surry Hills with its unique exterior and interior. For me, it’s a fresh addition to the Sydney food-scene because I find Vietnamese restaurants that put such a strong focus on aesthetics, very rare. Not saying that all Vietnamese restaurants look shabby (well, some do), their appearance was never something I noticed because I was just in it for the pho. Nothing else mattered, I don’t care if the restaurant doesn’t look pretty or whatever, if you serve food good enough to compensate it, that’s all I need. But hey, who doesn’t love a place that serves great food and looks good at the same time?
So for sure, Mama’s Buoi ticked off the ‘good looks’ box, they just needed to tick off the ‘good food’ box.
Every day, it’s the same sort of torture. As I wait impatiently for my bus, I stare intently through the windows of the fancy, clean-looking restaurant that is called Chefs Gallery. With its massive clear windows, it allows one to (creepily) watch the chefs master their art – there’s something magical about the way they effortlessly whip up one dish after another. While I agree it’s a great idea to show the public how the chefs assemble their masterpieces as it shows confidence in the restaurants’ hygiene and quality, it’s unfair when all I can do is watch as my stomach starts to complain.
So when opportunity struck, I immediately suggested to go to Chefs Gallery for dinner right before a group of us went to see Wicked (which was freaking amazing, by the way). Nothing makes me, a food blogger, happier when I have a lot of people eating with me because it means I can try more dishes and take more photos. Oh, of course I enjoy their company… but like, photos, though.
If you know me well enough, you would know that I’m not a huge fan of crowds at all – parties, social gatherings, music events… I’d much rather just stay home and write up a blog post while eating some Connoisseur Salted Caramel ice cream right from the tub (I am so addicted to this right now, guys). But I will always make an exception for food. Always. In fact, being in the company of so many people who all share your passion for food is quite enjoyable. Emphasis on a lot.
This was my first year at the Sydney Noodle Night Markets at Hyde Park since I was in the same war that all HSC students are battling through at this time last year – wow, has it really been a year?! Of course, I would choose to go on the opening night because NOODLE! NIGHT! MARKETS! If I had to choose one food I would eat for the rest of my life, it’d be noodles. I know it’s unfair of me to give that answer because there are so many noodles in the world but that’s exactly why it deserves such a high place in my heart. Noodles are magical.
The foods that I associated with Winter are hot pot, Japanese/Korean BBQ and noodles with some delicious soup. Things like ramen, udon and pho are great because they’re so affordable and delicious! So how can Winter pass without me reviewing some pho?
I was with my friend who only recently had her first pho ever (AT 18 YEARS OF AGE!!) with me but her first experience was disappointing to say the least. So while we were in Chatswood, I decided to take her to a place I used to go quite a lot back in high school after Saturday tutoring classes.
This place got me excited because I thought Eastwood had a new Korean restaurant since I haven’t seen the name Won San before on the Korean side of Eastwood. So my friend and I sat down, excited to try a new place only to realise that it was just Arisana but with a new name and possibly a new management team, maybe? But looks like they serve the same stuff, anyway.
The first time I came here when it was still called Arisana, I wasn’t very impressed with the food. Maybe it was because we ordered the huuuuuge dishes to share between like 10 people or something that made it not that impressive, but I thought I would never have the need to come back. But we already sat down so it was too late. Either way, this place was pretty popular, especially for a weekday during lunchtime so we gave it a go anyway.