Worried about swine flu? Do as I do and develop a porcine obsession

by Forager on May 20, 2009

I’ve always been a reluctant but astute student of reverse psychology. If you tell me I shouldn’t eat a particular food, I instantly develop some form of all-consuming craving for it. So I know there is much concern about swine flu at the moment, but it seems porcine is firmly on my mind and on the menu. And for good reason – we don’t need to cut little miss piggy out of our lives as swine flu isn’t transmissible via pork products.

There is a lot of media attention about the deadly swine flu strain (and the preceding bird flu strain) and they are certainly dangerous having at this stage confirmed about 79 deaths as a result of swine flu. But we have to exercise some common-sense about what the media reports about these epidemics – how much attention is placed on the fact that annually a phenomenal 250,000 – 500,000 deaths worldwide occur due to general influenza strains? Puts it in perspective huh? Whilst I don’t propose people stampede off to pig farms to give a pig a jolly great big hug, I do advocate going to the WHO website for more interesting facts about influenza and not worrying so much the next time you’re thinking about a pork dish.

So – what does one do when embracing a guilt-free porcine diet? Make a hasty bee-line straight to Menya’s doorstep and slurp down a bowl of their delicious pork-based tonkotsu ramen stock. Ah, why limit yourself to one animal when you can expose yourself to a mixing pot of them? And the rich, collagenous tonkotsu stock at Menya is indeed delicious – perfect winter warming fare.

First up we order a starter of salmon wasabi gohan with extra Japanese mayonnaise (because I am addicted to the stuff and it makes everything taste better). I love the stuff and shovel it down with a contented smile on my face. It’s not as good as the kaisen don at Ramen Kan, but still good.

The co-pilot orders the chilli hot teriyaki beef ramen. It’s a generous bowl of delicious tender beef swimming in that moreish tonkotsu ramen stock. And despite it’s name – it really isn’t that chilli hot. There’s a hint of spice but nothing to break out in a sweat about.

I order my Menya staple – the deliciously garlicky hot spicy kim chee ramen. It’s delicious as always and is just the thing to satisfy my porky cravings. Although it’s the same tonkotsu stock as the other ramens on the menu, I find the addition of the kim chee really does add to the flavour of the soup. This is for me hands-down the tastiest soup at Menya. Oh, and as with the teriyaki ramen, this really isn’t that spicy.

Satisfied with our bellies full of delicious warming ramen soup, we feel robust enough to brave the chilly, wet and windy Sydney weather and the dangers of swine flu fly like a metaphorical pig from my mind.

Ground level, Shop TG8, Quay St, Sydney; (02)9212-1020.
Open daily for lunch from 11:30am – 3:30pm; Dinner Weekdays 5:30pm – 9pm; Weekends 5pm – 9pm.
Above address is in Chinatown, but there is also a branch open in Sydney City.


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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Stephcookie May 21, 2009 at 11:11 am

Ha! I totally understand your food reverse psychology. Thank god we can continue eating pork, I love my bacon. The kim chee ramen looks delicious, kim chee is so good for this type of weather.

2 Betty May 21, 2009 at 1:08 pm

Ramen is perfect for this weather. I’m a huge fan of Japanese mayo! It makes everything tastes that much better!

3 Tangled Noodle May 21, 2009 at 1:46 pm

These look incredible! If only it wouldn’t cost me airfare and at least 18 hours of flying, I’d want to go Menya’s right now.

4 Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella May 21, 2009 at 8:32 pm

I love the tonkotsu broth and it’s so good for winter. I also love how it’s a beauty treatment too with the collagen! 😆

5 Arwen from Hoglet K May 21, 2009 at 9:58 pm

Yum – kimchi soup. I agree that the kimchi really adds flavour to the broth, and it sounds like the broth is superb to start with at this place.

6 Forager May 21, 2009 at 10:42 pm

Hey Stephcookie – I know! I’ve gotta say, I think pork might be my favourite meat. And if it weren’t for the deadly garlic breath, I’d eat kim chee every day.

Hey Betty – There was a point when I’d put japanese majo on everything – it tastes good on mi goreng instant noodles btw. But then I looked at the nutritional panel and have scaled back my vigour with the mayo.

Hey Tangled Noodle – Ha! Yes, if it didn’t cost me an airfare and probably 14- 18 hours of flying, I’d be overseas somewhere, anywhere eating. Hmm – perhaps in the Napa Valley? For a bit of French Laundry?

Hey Lorraine – definitely agree. Especially the Sydney weather right now and It’s not even winter yet! And if it tastes that good, it’s got to do something good for you right?

Hey Arwen – Kim chi soup can only be good. So many strong, tasty flavours! You should try it if you’re in Chinatown :)

7 pigpigscorner May 22, 2009 at 10:59 pm

the beef ramen looks awesome!! If only it was nearer =(

8 Chris May 25, 2009 at 12:07 am

Hey Trina! It was great meeting you today at Zumbos! Ironically, we may well have bumped into each other today at the Liverpool markets, we also bought some wagyu beef!

Swine flu vs ramen…;) I’ll take the risk any day!

9 Forager May 25, 2009 at 12:31 am

Hey pigpigscorner – Japan is probably closer to you than Menya! *sigh* Japan…

Hey Chris – lovely to meet you today too! That’s crazy that we were both there, at the same stall even. How bizarre! You’re a local? Incidentally, the wagyu beef is pretty tasty! We had it unadultered to test the flavour.

10 Simon May 27, 2009 at 11:55 pm

Is Menya a Korean-run Japanese restaurant? The kimchee ramen doesn’t look half bad.

I’m also a huge fan of the Japanese Kewpie mayo!

11 Forager May 29, 2009 at 12:34 am

Hey Simon – I’m pretty sure it’s Japanese – it’s part of the IS group that own Rengaya and Suminoya as well.

And who doesn’t like Japanese kewpie mayo?? I did slow down after I read the nutritional panel, but I’ve since found reduced fat kewpie mayo. Tastes just as good!

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