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.
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.
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.
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.