Ton Ton Ramen & Azuma Patisserie
A couple of days back I had a catch up evening with an old friend from high school I haven't seen for at least 2 years. As we kept each other up to date on our current lives, she introduced me to the Japanese wonders that are Ton Ton Ramen and Azuma Patisserie hidden away from the public eyes within the Regent shopping mall off George Street.
We started off with a bowl of Japanese ramen each. Hers was the kogashi ninniku ramen; a black sesame and soy soup base fulfilled with ramen noodles and garlic. She did however order extra bean sprouts and noodles which made it look even more bountiful with so much to eat.
Mine was the kara-age ramen with a soy based soup and deep-fried pieces of chicken, slices of their chashu pork and the ramen noodles.
Each bowl is served with a good amount of ramen noodles, a side of seaweed and a plethora of sprouts and shallots. I'm not much of a fan of the latter ingredients and end up giving it to my friend who's happy to receive more - something of a ritual between the two of us when it came to bean sprouts in previous Ramen lunch dates.
Then to finish it off we ate chiffon cake over at the Azuma Patisserie, a small place just a hop and skip away from the ramen place. I've been told that perhaps the two are of the same owner with the addition of another Ton Ton over in Chifley Square.
I go for the cake set special for $8.90 take-out or dine in. That means any choice of tea and cake for that set price. My choice of drink was the Sen Cha tea which is a fragrant Japanese loose leaf tea that traditionally is made from tea leaves that haven't been grinded yet. My friend ordered herself a tea called Soba Cha which is caffeine-free and derives from buckwheat grains.
We choose their honey chiffon cake since it seems to be a good seller - only one big chunk of it was left! It was a toss up between honey, black sesame or green tea. Honey won of course, being a really pleasant sweet cake that had a bouncy, light and sponge-like density that went within minutes between the two of us.
People come and go as they please, ordering various Japanese sweets and coffees to go. What I did notice as well on the menu blackboard was that they also serve frozen yogurt! I'm a little intrigued as to what a Green Tea froyo from this place might be like, so that'll probably be the next thing for me to try over at Azuma Patisserie.