88 Grattan St, Carlton
Phone: 9347 9748
So this place has the dubious distinction of being the first restaurant I have double-reviewed. The first time I went there, I had the ramen, which was something of a disappointment. So this time around, when I went on a date with Mr J, I was decidedly not going to go down the noodle route. Besides, eating noodles on dates is for whores. You know what I mean.
We started off with some gyoza. Now I realise it’s a style thing, and that gyoza are not jiaozi, but it always bothers me that gyoza filling is kinda loose – it makes me thing that they’re under-cooked. These gyoza were no different. Not to say they were bad – indeed the flavour of the filling was quite good – but I’m starting to think this Japanese staple isn’t really one of my favourites.
Mr J was feeling indecisive, so he ordered the bento, which had a little bit of everything. It looked like a lot of fun, though I’m not sure how anyone could eat that much food. Wait, anyone except me. Luckily I didn’t order it, because I’m sure I would have hoovered it all up. And hoovering on dates is for whores. You know what I mean. FYI Mr J did not hoover. He’s not a whore.
I ordered the buta something or other. It was like a pork sukyaki, in a cast iron bowl with, swimming in porky broth.
It was really good, though the vegetables were a tad over-cooked, and a bit of a floppy mess. Still, the flavour was simple, but somehow not bland. I quite enjoyed it, though I didn’t finish it. Partly because the serving was very generous, and partly because I didn’t want to look like a whore.
88 Grattan St Carlton
Phone: (03) 9347 9748
I’m grudgingly coming to the conclusion that you can’t get good ramen in Melbourne.
My main gripe with the ramen at Toki is that it doesn’t even make any pretense of freshness. Pre-cooked vegetables some what let the team down, even with nicely fried chicken pieces. But then again, the soup was overly salty, and the ramen, while obviously not from an instant packet, lacked the springiness and ‘toothsome’ quality which separates good ramen from the noodle rabble.
All this said, the Chef’s special platter that the couple on the next table were eating looked amazing!