- Megan Levy, breaking news reporter for SMH.
It's the hottest day in Sydney; videos are being made on how long it takes for an ice block to melt, air conditioned shopping malls and cinemas are being swamped by the masses and everyone on the streets are carrying new air conditioning units on their backs to take home. Of course, like always, we defy what people would usually do and opt to go for Japanese with very limited air conditioning (unintentional).
When my partner and I step into Takeru I don't feel much of a drop in temperature in the supposed air conditioning. There are two levels in the restaurant, the bottom floor where most of the diners are but then there are steps around the corner where there are more booths. From what we could see there is only one table left that is right next to the door so we ask if there are any free spaces beyond the steps but the waitress tells us there is no air conditioning up there so we immediately settle for the table that is left.
|Touch screen menus|
As fun as it is to have touch screen menus I always find it difficult to navigate them and choose what I want. Good thing they have physical menus too! I am never in the mood to eat when it's hot so it was straight to the salads. We decide on mentaiko potato salad ($7.20) and chicken namban hiyashi ramen ($12.90). We place our order on the touch screen and they come out very quickly!
|Mentaiko potato salad, $7.20|
The mentaiko potato salad comes out and the size is very reasonable for the price. There are lots of leafy greens, some cherry tomatoes and cucumber slices. Piled over all of this is the mentaiko, which translates to as 'marinated roe of pollock’ and is mixed with mashed potato. My partner says the mentaiko reminds him of the Greek meze, taramosalata. The consistency is a bit strange; perhaps a bit too mashed as I can't taste any of the potato but this may be just how it's meant to be. The salad itself is quite drenched with the tangy dressing and I need to drain it a bit. When the salad is all mixed with the mentaiko, it tastes much better.
|Chicken namban hiyashi ramen, $12.90|
The chicken namban hiyaski ramen arrives shortly after the salad. I choose it deliberately as it is a cold dish and it looks (and tastes) refreshing! It is a generous serving of salad, cold ramen and the namban chicken. The fried chicken is in between chicken katsu and karaage. The skin is crispy and the meat is tender. The namban sauce (vinegar and tartare) works well with the chicken but there's a lot of it so this is mostly what the ramen tastes of. The ramen has a good bite to it, nice and chewy, not at all too soft. But the ramen, like the salad, is unfortunately drenched with vinegary dressing which makes me feel every cut in my mouth.
It may not have been the best day to go out for dinner because food in general wasn't particularly appealing but Takeru did an alright job! We've been there before and their hot dishes are much better, their agedashi tofu is one of the best I've had, so we'll definitely go again when we're not sweating like crazy and we're in the mood for a feast!
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