Ajisen Ramen – Glen Waverley

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Ajisen Ramen is a popular Japanese franchise that offers an array of Japanese dishes. Of course, going by the name, its main attraction is the Ramen. Ajisen Ramen’s first Melbourne restaurant was on Bourke St, Melbourne. It has been there for many years, I think ever since I was in high school. I remember my friend ordering an Aussie Ramen, it was one of the strangest fusion dishes I’d ever seen. I believe it had fried egg, beetroot and other “typical” Australian ingredients like you’d find in a burger. I don’t think it’s on their menu anymore, probably an indication of its extreme popularity. Ajisen Ramen is a more recent entry to Glen Waverley, after the seemingly empty Korean restaurant before it closed down, and most weekends during lunchtime, even in the late arvo, you’ll find this place full.

I ordered the Tonkatsu Ramen, as seen in the opening image. What we have here is Deep-Fried Pork, egg and an assortment of vegetables. I quite liked it, you kinda to either eat the pork quickly or take it out of the bowl in order for the pork to retain its crunchiness that you would typically find in a Tonkatsu Rice dish. If you leave it in too long, it kinda gets too soggy but the flavour is still there so if you don’t mind it then it really isn’t a con.

The soup is mild, but definitely has some flavour. I quite like it and even though the bowl appears a tad small, it is filling.

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This is the Spicy Ramen, with “Spicy Meat” which is not pictured. It’s servered separately on a plate. This is slightly different to the Tonkatsu Ramen as the soup base is spicy. It actually has quite a good hit, and it’s served with cabbage instead. Overall, it’s pleasant and the amount of heat is surprising for a Japanese restaurant.

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If you order a Sumo Combo, ($5.50 extra) it comes with your pick of Junior Donburi and Green Tea. Well worth it if you’re particularly famished. Here we have the Junior Unadon, which is Grilled Eel with Sauce on Rice. I’m not a big fan of eel, but the sauce makes all the difference here. Nice balance of sweet and salty.

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Here we have the Junior Teriyaki Salmon Don. I find the Junior serves if you don’t order the Sumo to be extremely poor value for money. It really is just a few mouthfuls, and for only a couple of dollars more you get a much larger serving. I also found the Teriyaki sauce here to be lacking, its mainly because the sauce is almost non existant! The Salmon was nicely cooked though, still pink inside so not overcooked. So overall the dish is a bit bland.

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I ordered the Katsu Curry, with Deep Fried Bread Crumbed Pork with Japanese Curry on Rice. I love Japanese Curry, it’s so different to the Malaysian-style curries that most people have come to love but it for me, it holds its own.

I find Ajisen Servings to be slightly smaller than most other Japanese restaurants, even the Japanese Cafe in Chinatown is gigantic compared to here but nonetheless it’s still filling. I just find that it’s generally more expensive but smaller portions. What I love about Ajisen’s offering is that it’s actually spicy! Not just a hint of spice but a good punch. So different to the standard curries I’ve ordered around town as they are usually much sweeter.

The Pork goes really nicely with the curry, and although the curry can make the battered layer of pork soft, it isn’t too bad. Compared to the Tonkatsu Ramen, it goes soft slower so it’s not too bad. With this you get your standard diced carrot and potato. In this case, they pre-fry the potatoes giving it a slightly potato fry kind of flavour to it. It’s a subtle but nice way to bring another element to the dish.

Overall, you can see why Ajisen Ramen is extremely popular day in day out. I’d say service is surprisingly decent too, they have these little PDAs to take your orders and the food comes quickly enough. I’d probably bet they just want you out of there as quickly as possible but it works well. As I’ve cautioned before, if you’re used to the large servings in the many other Asian restaurants in Glen Waverley, don’t expect them here. It’s slightly smaller and more expensive. However the major plus is that the food is pretty darn good. So if see empty seats in this popular eatery, grab it and enjoy!

Ajisen Ramen on Urbanspoon

Ajisen Ramen (Menu)

82 Kingsway
Glen Waverley VIC 3150
(03) 9560 9018

Saigon Light

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Saigon Light is a new entry to Kingsway in Glen Waverley, it has moved into ABC Cafe’s old spot. This Vietnamese restaurant is, to my memory, one of the only (or very few) Vietnamese eateries on Kingsway after An An closed down.

It serves the standard varieties of Vietnamese cuisine such as Pho and a good selection of rice and noodle dishes that you will often find in your Vietnamese food hubs.
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As mentioned in my previous post, I used to always go to Walrus for their Tomato Rice and Crispy Chicken dish. I don’t think I ever got sick of it. Since I seldom head to Springvale anymore, I had to find another place that serve great Tomato rice and chicken.

Saigon Light’s offering looks quite delectable but the flavour of their Tomato rice isn’t quite there. It’s slightly dry and a bit on the bland side. Walrus’s tomato rice was packed full of flavour since it was stir fried and was mixed with egg.

The fried chicken was decent, but I think I preferred Walrus’s version because the seasoning wasn’t as sweet, but it was crispy and cooked well.
IMG_6224Saigon Light’s Three colours  dessert was also slightly disappointing. It was quite sweet but lacked flavour. It was also kinda difficult to mix around but it was still alright. I probably wouldn’t order it again, but it was nice to try.

Saigon Light is a restaurant I was hoping would satisfy my Vietnamese food cravings. Unfortunately it lacks the flavour that makes authentic Vietnamese food so good.

Saigon Light on Urbanspoon

Saigon Light

109 Kingsway
Glen Waverley, 3150
(03) 9561 6888

 

 

 

Kingsway Seafood Restaurant

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Kingsway Seafood Restaurant is a recent entry to the heart of Glen Waverley.  Opening earlier this year, if my memory serves me correctly. There aren’t that many Chinese restaurants where you can have a nice dinner on Kingsway or near the train station.  Maybe, the Hakka Teahouse across from Glen Waverley train station but the more the merrier I suppose.

It also isn’t a bad thing that the prices are reasonable for what they serve and well the last Chinese dinner I had was at Eastern Palace in Rowville, and the bill left an unpleasant taste in our mouths.

IMG_5349We orderd a fish and tofu dish for dinner and it had a nice taste to it,  with cooked but crunchy carrots, vegetables and mushrooms. Overall it was quite pleasant. Nothing really to run home about, it basically is the standard flavours you may find in your typical Chinese restaurant.
IMG_5350We also ordered another vegetable dish (Kai Lan with beef), and that was great but I didn’t managed to take a picture of it. Not that it was picture worthy anyway since it was quite simple, but I love kai lan so we had to order it.

However, this prawn dish was the standout. The prawns are covered in a salted egg batter and my golly was it something special. It had a great saltiness to the prawns, but the prawn flavour wasn’t overpowered by the salted egg batter.  The batter thinly covered the whole prawn, and was light and crisp, and definitely not heavy that you feel you’re eating a great deal of oil. I think I would go back here just to order this delicious and surprisngly delightful dish again.

I would probably only come here on special occassions though since if you eat regularly here, it would take quite a big chunk out of your food budget!

Kingsway Seafood Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Kingsway Seafood Restaurant
100 Kingsway
Glen Waverley, 3150
(03) 9562 2688

Papparoti

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PappaRoti is a popular franchise/bakery in Malaysia. Probably not as popular as RotiBoy but still these Mexican buns are sold in many shopping centres in Malaysia and now we have a couple of stores down here in Melbourne. The first one I’ve seen to pop up was on Kingsway, Glen Waverley but there is also another one that recently opened on Elizabeth St (Across from Melbourne Central) in the Melbourne CBD.

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These buns have a sweet crunchy crust on top, and you can smell these buns baking in the ovens far away. The crust I believe has a coffee taste to it but it’s more delicate. It’s sweet, but that’s a good thing since it stops you from having too many!
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Inside they place some butter before they are cooked, so when it’s done. The inside is nice and soft, with a rich butter texture to it. It’s actually quite nice but you definitely can’t have too many.

Compared to RotiBoy’s variety of buns, who sell these buns with butter, cream cheese and blueberry cream cheese, Papparoti only sells this one particular bun with butter. The store in Glen Waverley also sells coffee and ice cream but I haven’t taste tested them yet. I might try their ice cream once this winter finally passes.

Not everyone will like these buns, and for me personally, I’ve had my fair share for the year, but definitely try it because you just might like it!

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Their ice-cream selection is actually quite decent. They have the usuals like Rum & Raisin, Strawberry Jam, but then they venture into the Asian favourites like Durian, Black Sesame, Lychee and Red Bean.

I tried Lychee and Black Sesame on my first go, and whilst the Black Sesame was too sweet and lacked the nice bitterness of black sesame, the lychee was an instant favourite. It had an authentic lychee flavour and was smooth and creamy. I haven’t seen many places that sell Lychee ice-cream, and one that tastes good too, so whenever I’m feeling like a cold treat (nearly always) this will be the first place I visit.

Pappa Roti on Urbanspoon
PappaRoti

105 Kingsway,
Glen Waverley. VIC

Mon-Thur: 9am-9pm
Fri-Sat: 9am-Late
Sunday: 10am-9pm

 

Petaling Street

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Petaling Street is one of the newer entries to Kingsway, Glen Waverley. Replacing the Kowloon Cafe, a Hong Kong style eatery. When they first opened, it was shockingly terrible. Horrible service and the food wasn’t too flash either. I believe a year and a half later, they are doing fine. One of the more popular places because of it’s variety of dishes, cheaper prices and great portions. It has turned itself around.

I believe they have another store in Hawthorn but according to some friends, it’s not as good. The image above is of a Crispy Noodle Combination, it’s actually pretty good. Maybe just as good as The Grand Tofu’s offerings.
I always come back here for their Nasi Goreng Pattaya, it looks pretty cool and well it tastes good too. Here it is below. The sweet chilli sauce and the really thin egg layer gives this Nasi Goreng some added flavour and texture.

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Below are some other dishes they have. I think the first one is a Combination Hor Fun and I can’t remember what the second one is, maybe a Spare Rib Noodles or something but it wasn’t that great.

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Even on weekdays, Petaling Street at around lunch time can get full. People always come back for more and you can see why, the food is good and their portions are reasonable. The only real negative is that the service is still kinda lacking. Sometimes they are quick but most of the time you have to go out of your way to get them to take your order and the wait for your food is a whole other issue. If you do want to try it out, probably it’s your best bet to try it ‘off peak’ either before 12pm or after around 2pm.

Petaling Street Glen Waverley on Urbanspoon
Petaling Street

111 Kingsway
Glen Waverley VIC 3150
(03) 9561 1388