Gourmet Traveller Review

October 11, 2014

Thank you Gourmet Traveller for the behind the scenes reporting!

Taro Akimoto

Taro’s Ramen & Café, Brisbane

10.10.2014

 Saying Taro Akimoto’s devotion to the art of ramen borders on obsessive is something of an understatement. Sure, he eschews MSG and other shortcuts, makes his noodles in-house and uses only premium Bangalow pork for his tonkotsu broths, but it’s a rare chef who weighs and cooks each organic egg separately, using a chart of his own devising to ensure creamy yolked perfection every time.

After four years in a low-key, unlikely spot on Brisbane’s Adelaide Street, Akimoto is bringing Taro’s Ramen to the lucky people of Ascot with his second venture, on Racecourse Road.

The digs are neat and simple, tables are topped with handmade wood slabs crafted by the chef-owner, and it’s counter service only.

“I like to keep pretty tight control, so I don’t think you’ll be seeing me expand worldwide,” Akimoto laughs. “I like to keep a close eye and take control of things physically.”

To be a little more eco-friendly, he recently swapped over from traditional cooking methods, and is now using a pressure cooker to make the tonkotsu, an approach he says is becoming popular with more progressive ramen shops. His broths now take five hours rather than 50 to prepare, and gas bills are down, but it hasn’t turned out to be much of a time-saver in practice.

“There’s a noticeable difference in results. I always aim for a particular density in the soup. With the traditional two-day cooking method you get about 10 per cent dissolved matter. With the pressure cooker – it’s about 20 per cent and a more flavoursome soup.”

The traditional method creates a broth that remains creamy for a long time, while the pressure cooker results tend to separate when held at 90C.

“It took a lot of work to get the results consistent.”

With the new method, for service Akimoto brings each order to temperature, then uses a stick blender to emulsify the soup.

“There’s more effort in the preparation… because while some use soy lecithin and gums to stabilise, I prefer to stay natural and premium.”

Irrashaimase, indeed.

Taro’s Ramen Ascot, 1/145 Racecourse Rd, Ascot, Qld, (07) 3868 2833, and 363 Adelaide St, Brisbane, Qld, (07) 3832 6358. 

 


Oct 12th City Shop Closed

October 10, 2014

We will be closed on Oct 12th at our City shop for building maintenance issues.  Our Ascot shop will be open.  Thanks.  Taro

 


Courier Mail Article

October 7, 2014

Thanks Courier-Mail for the coverage!!

Taro

Queensland’s newest restaurants and eateries

THE purple and pinks of Racecourse Road’s Thai Talay have been banished, making way for the simple lines and handmade wooden-topped tables of Taro’s Ramen & Café. 
The new venue is a sibling for Taro’s Ramen & Café’s Adelaide St city branch and it opened quietly in Ascot last week.

Owner Taro Akimoto says diners can expect an expanded drinks selection at the new suburban digs, featuring plenty of wines by-the-glass, with Riedel glassware to match the upscale location. There’s also the usual quirky range of beer, including Japanese rice lager, alongside sake, umeshu and shochu.

“I’ve installed a Vintec cabinet and the wines will be premium, but at budget prices,’’ Mr Akimoto said.

“It’s still counter service but we’ll be providing quality.’’

The bulk of the wine list falls in the $20-$40 category, with some by-the-glass choices as low as $6.20. All the Taro’s Ramen & Café city noodle favourites put in an appearance at Mr Akimoto’s second venue, from the celebrated red and fire tonkotsu options through to shio, shoyu and miso ramen offerings. Noodles and chilli oil are made in-house, the eggs are organic from the Darling Downs, and pork is Sweet Pork from Bangalow

At Ascot, there’s a slightly wider choice of ‘tapas’ designed for dinner service, everything from sweet chilli and curry karaage chicken to handmade gyoza. The city’s popular order-ahead option of shabu shabu is also available.

At the city venue, Mr Akimoto said he now planned to trial late night ramen sittings. From October 15-18 he would keep the kitchen open until 11pm to gauge demand.

Taro Akimoto of Taro's Ramen & Cafe, Ascot. Picture: Mark Calleja

Taro Akimoto of Taro’s Ramen & Cafe, Ascot. Picture: Mark Calleja


NOW OPEN!! Taro’s Ramen – Ascot

October 1, 2014

We are now open for business!

Taro’s Ramen – Ascot
1/145 Racecourse Rd Ascot QLD 4007
07-3868-2833

In the city it’s sometimes touch and go, hustle and bustle..  The concept of the Ascot shop is to sit down, and take the time to relax and enjoy the meal.  So we have a wider range of tapas and a contemporary casual wine list with a focus on by the glass over 20 to match the food.  Of course the ramen and the sake and Japanese beer is the basics and you can be assured of the quality you have come to expect from our city shop.  30 seats inside air-conditioned and 50 seats in the outside covered area.  Oh, we have ample parking at Ascot too!    Hope to see you here.

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Hand made table tops.

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Ramen! New bowls and ladles. Dishes from japan.

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Outside area at night.

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Vintec wine cabinet!  Wanted this one….

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Orion server ready to go. and the Riedel stemware (sparkling currently using Plumm).  Over 20 wines by the glass mostly around $7.00. BYO is $4.00pp too.. Bargain!

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Menu for your info.

Drink Menu Oct 14 Ascot menu Ascot Oct 2014 A3

 

 


Trial Late Night Trading Hours Oct 15-18

September 29, 2014

During October, we would like to test late night trade only at our City shop.

Trial Late Night Trading Hours Oct 15-18. We will take last orders until 11:00PM instead of our usual 9:00PM on these nights. Hope to see you there for some late night ramen!

Oct 15 Wed 11:00PM
Oct 16 Thu 11:00PM
Oct 17 Fri 11:00PM
Oct 18 Sat 11:00PM

Taro


Woodridge Station Markets

September 28, 2014

My favorite markets at the moment. Lots of farmer stalls but the uniqueness is the long row of various food outlets. There’s African, Thai, Japanese, New Zealand.

A shot with Tia, my yam farmer. She’s still got a little stock left of the beautiful white yam we used for the yamakake ramen but coming to the end of the season. She has sweet potato, cassava and purple yam at the moment. Picture is us with her purple yam which is very similar taste to the white except for the color.

African BBQ. 2.50 a stick for humongous tender chunks of beef tongue. The seasoning is also so so good!

Thai Tom Yum noodle soup. $7.00

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September Dinner Special – Wagyu Roast

September 6, 2014

和牛ローストビーフ $13.50

たたき風にレアで仕上げています。ローカルの肉屋より仕入れた和牛の部位はBlade。肩の筋肉なのでロースやカルビなどと比べ固めですが、肉のうまみが素晴らしいです。噛むたびにじゅわっときます。味付けは自家製ポン酢とオリーブオイル。マイクロハーブで盛り付けを頑張ってみました。9月一杯です。ご賞味ください。

 

Wagyu Blade Roast with Citrus Soy $13.50

We got some good wagyu blade from our butcher, Australian Halal Butcher so we will be serving this for dinner during Septmeber.  Rare seared and finished in the sous vide.  The cut is a realtively chewy bit but the flavour of the meat is so so good compared to a more tender cut.  Burst of umami each chew. Flavoured with homemade ponzu and olive oil.  Garnished with beautiful microherbs from our veggie patch!

 

 

 

 

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