Monday, 2 March 2015

Taros - Brisbane CBD

One of the qualities which I find to be very admirable is low key understatements. In my youth, I grew up with stories from my parents about how wise/great men would live hidden away in the mountains as a hermit, and would only come out for a great cause. I was recently reminded of these tales when I trekked up Adelaide Street on my quest for the best ramen in Brisbane.

Taros' shopfront is really well hidden under Boeing Centre. If I hadn't been looking, I would easily have missed it. Luckily, I was looking.

Indeed, the only thing that caught my attention was the wall poster that said 'Taros' hanging near the restaurant. As with the hermits living in the mountains, great men don't need to be flamboyant.

I ordered in the small indoor counter and was given a number. Water and condiments were also served on a DIY basis.

Seating is rather casual and roomy. Whilst it is under cover, strictly speaking it is still outdoors, which means it might be a bit hot during the summer months.

I found a table, and noted that on each of the tables was a sign showing the cooking methods for both the soup and the noodles. It really gives me a greater appreciation for the meal that I am about to have.

My food came out rather quickly, its noteworthy to say that the waiter was exceptionally polite in serving the food and took the time to explain to me the special gyoza sauce with the chili option.

I opted for the limited edition Tori Paitan over my usual Tonkotsu Ramen. It had a really flavoursome and gelatinous soup made from chicken rather than pork. I could really taste the strong chicken flavours and it clung really well onto the thicker curly ramen. In terms of the ramen, I could really taste the 'bite' in the noodles and could taste the passion that the owner has for his art. The chicken char siu on top tasted a bit like smoked turkey, which was nice. But what completely blew my mind was the soft boiled Ajitama (marinated egg). To this date, I dont believe I've had such a perfectly cooked egg before. As you can see in the photo, the white was cooked quite well, but the yolk was runny. I loved it.

I was also blown away by the quality of the Gyoza. Being a ramen shop, I truly didnt have much expectation for the gyoza, other than it being a nice side to the ramen. However I was really impressed, the bottom was crispy, the skin was one of the thinnest I've had and the pork and veges inside were super tasty and fresh. Their pre mixed gyoza sauce was also very yummy. This was arguably one of the best Gyoza I've had in Brisbane, hidden inconspicuously in a ramen shop. I loved it. 

In order to obtain more content for my readers, I went a second time, this time with a companion. My companion, who was in a hurry that day ordered a mini curry bowl and had to run off. The curry appeared to be home made, and not the usual premix type. Its worth noting that this time the wait for our food was much longer than the first time,  maybe because we went at peak time. 

On that day, I opted for my usual, which is the Tonkotsu Ramen, which I loved. As you can see, the egg was also done really nicely. I may have to come to taros every time I need to eat eggs now. Compared to the Tori Paitan Ramen, the noodles in tonkotsu ramen were the thin straight type. It reminds me a bit of angel hair pasta, but it had more bite to it. What I found most impressive to it though, was the Char Siu. Compared to all the places I have been to for ramen, this char siu was not fatty at all. As you can see in the second picture, it did not have those slivers of fat that you see in a lot of other ramen. The soup was really tasty, and less thick than the chicken ramen soup, but it was still definitely very creamy. I liked it a lot more with the addition of ground sesame.

I did find my meal at Taros to be slightly more expensive than what I usually spend for lunch . But it was really worth every cent. 

Price Range: $15 - $30 per person

Taste: 8.5/10
Value: 8/10
Service: 8.5/10
Environment: 5/10

Taro's Ramen & Café on Urbanspoon

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