Men Tatz – Male Body Art? No. Solid Japanese? Maybe So.

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Bruce Willis for $9? I’ll buy that, especially for a piece of Yippie-Ki-Yay Mother Russia. Just as well it was $9 too, because the latest Die Hard movie didn’t capture the spirit I loved in the first four. Is it just me, or did Bruce Willis’ supposed son look more like his From Russia With Love Child? Anyway, it was Friday, and Mrs Peckish and I were in the mood for a movie and dinner. Dinner had to be close to the movies in town, with a good chance of getting a seat without a booking after 6:30pm. So we headed up to Men Tatz on Lorne Street.

Mrs Peckish loves her some Tonkotsu Raamen, and I thought I’d try their Teriyaki Chicken, Karaage Chicken and Kakuni Pork.

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If you’re particular about your Tonkotsu Raamen, particularly if you’ve ever had it in Hakata, or you’ve tried it at establishments like Daikoku Raamen and Tanpopo Raamen at the bottom of town, this will not do it for you. There’s a fattiness and body to the broth which has its charms, but will not hit the spot if you go in with any expectations. I was intrigued by and enjoyed the unexpected nature of the flavour, but Mrs Peckish was disappointed.

I loved how the Chicken Teriyaki was almost a salad with a side of chicken. Again, this is a story of expectation. If you like your teriyaki to be a little sweet, a little sticky, the flavouring would have run too far to the soy end of the spectrum. Part of the problem might be the sauce that it sits on, which the chicken being far too keen to suck up the essence of soy, rather than the other elements of the teriyaki flavour.

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The Pork Kakuni was delicious. I don’t normally get pork with mustard like this at other Japanese establishments, but I wasn’t mad at the development either. Some pieces were very tender at one point, and contrastingly dry at the opposite extremity. Consider the price at $9, though, and it’s a good choice.

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Probably the most consistent effort for the evening was the Karaage chicken. Crispy skin chicken doesn’t sound like a difficult proposition, but experience at some joints has indicated otherwise. Crispy as you like on the outside, and enough tang to almost make the lemon wedge on the side superfluous, and a juicy interior design. They crowed to me so sweetly I snaffled two pieces before I remembered I wanted to take a photo. Being generous with the Kewpie Mayonnaise doesn’t hurt in my books either.

All this came out to $35. Now, most full price movies will run you this much, and I’d take this dinner over most movies. The atmosphere is casual, and the wait for food is pretty brief, even when they’re busy.  They’ll forget to provide you with water, if that’s even an option, and didn’t ask us what we wanted to drink. To me that’s part of the charm. For an inner city first date, or a way to catch up with a mate over a few small plates, this does the job at a nice price.

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9 thoughts on “Men Tatz – Male Body Art? No. Solid Japanese? Maybe So.

  1. Looking/sounding delicious-good photos, too. Maybe Pho tonight for me…

    I was in a ‘Die Hard’ mood when I saw the movie. Just had some 5 star chicken curry at the Spice Route and practically drank the bowl of raita! Thought the movie was good. They’re usually about the special effect and they were effective. It’s hard to live up to some of the earlier releases but I’ll say this…its really nice to see men of his age doing action films. Looking hot Bruce!

    1. I enjoy a Bruce Willis movie almost on principle, but I felt like they didn’t give him enough room to be funny in this one. I’m looking forward to the RED sequel, I hope Helen Mirren comes back for that.

    1. Daikoku Raamen was my original Raamen place back in the day. It was the closest thing I’d found to the Tonkotsu Raamen I got back in Japan. One of the chefs moved to Tanpopo so their Raamen is pretty good too. Ichiban’s been pretty good to me whenever I’ve gone as well. I’d still give Daikoku the title overall though.

  2. Sadly I did not find any good ramen yet in Vienna, had the best ramen of my life in Düsseldorf, famous for being the “second Japan” because of the big Japanese population there. The pork kakuni sounds and looks so yummy btw..

    1. Huh, second Japan, is there any particular reason why there’s such a big Japanese population there? Pork kakuni is a favourite. If it’s on the menu it’s more than likely that we’ll try it.

    1. Yeah, they’re not competing with the big guns.

      Looking around the place that night, and hearing a young woman wax lyrical about the place over my shoulder, I get the feeling this place is popular with university students. It’s on the walk down into mid town, and won’t bust the wallet of a student getting nice pocket money from their upper middle class Auckland parents.

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