There are a lot of Japanese canteen-style restaurants popping up in Sydney including Hana Hana, Marukame Udon and Tenkomori, just to name a few. I love how they’re all affordable and quick which is perfect if you’re short on change or just need a meal to go. As a huge rice lover, I’ve been meaning to go to Menya Oiden many years ago ever since it opened but somehow just never managed to, until today. Yes!
Fried selection of toppings/side dishes
Oiden is in the same family to the neighbouring restaurants on each side – Menya Mappen which offers udon and Deru-Uma which offers katsu and curries. Oiden’s specialty is rice dishes and in true canteen style, you simply choose your dish and start adding toppings/side dishes before you pay.
Ontama BBQ Beef (R) – $9.90
Today I’m opting for their BBQ beef bowl served with an Ontama egg (soft boiled egg). It consists of grilled sliced beef, coleslaw, sesame seeds and pickled ginger with BBQ sauce on a bed of fluffy rice. I love watching the soft boiled egg run through the dish as I mix it through and I tactically choose a regular size so that I can order some toppings as well. There’s quite a lot of beef as they’re sliced quite largely, and I really enjoy the BBQ sauce that is served with it. On the table are some condiments and I help myself to some chilli flakes which bring out the hearty beef flavours.
Takoyaki – $2
Beef Mince – $2.20
Aside from this, I get some toppings including takoyaki (fried dough balls with octopus) and beef mince. Since the takoyaki has been sitting under a heat lamp, they’re nice and crispy which I enjoy unlike the soggy texture which can occur sometimes when they’re freshly made. The beef mince is also delicious – it’s essentially a meat patty that has been crumbed and fried, and tastes really good especially when you add in the katsu sauce from the condiments box.
I can’t believe it took me so long to try this place but I’m happy that I finally did. I think I have a preference for their udon neighbour as it’s a bit less heavy than rice, but otherwise Oiden is a great stop for rice lovers and I can’t wait to come back to try more of their menu.
Menya Oiden (Bowl Bar)
12/537-551 George St, Sydney NSW 2000
Ph: (02) 9267 1368