Feb 12th and Feb 19th at Wandering Cooks

January 30, 2016

Since being in Japan, the urge to make a golden caramel colored shio ramen with a strong mackerel dashi and transparent pork/chicken stock had been bubbling inside me.

It was great timing that I met the ladies at Wandering Cooks.  I had been interested in them and had a few industry friends suggesting I meet up with them but I didn’t see the connection of us and an incubator.  Turns out they run an awesome bar and plan events every wed to sun to fund their worthy activity.  We had a good chat and as quick as that, we were in to do two of the “Great Unhatched” Friday night pop ups.

Feb 12th

The Great Unhatched – Taro’s Ramen Pop Up

  1. -Starters-
  • Edamame $4 v
  • Bamboo Salad $5 v
  1. -Grill-
  • Charcoal Grilled Beef Tongue $8 gf
  • Charcoal Grilled Chicken $8 gf
  1. -Ramen-
  • Vegetarian Dry Noodles $12 v
  • Tonkotsu Ramen $12
  • Red Tonkotsu Ramen $12
  • Fire Tonkotsu Ramen $12
  • Add Extra Pork $3
  • Add Extra Egg $2

Feb 19th

The Great Unhatched – Taro’s Ramen – Artisan Series (Golden Shio Ramen)


  1. -Ramen-
  • Golden Shio Ramen $20 prebooked only, 16 customers per 7 x 30 minute sessions starting at 5:30, 6:00, 6:30, 7:00. 7:30. 8:00. 8:30.
  1. -Outside Tent-
  • Pork Bao $6
  • Edamame $4

Here is a video message that I was planning on posting later as  an additional promotional push but the tickets are going quickly so I decided to post it now.  The editing is limited with my lack of iPhone skills but the text was supposed to say the obvious. “Prepping for Wandering Cooks Event on Feb 19th” “come see the results” “tickets available from Eventbrite” “feb 19th 5:30-9:00pm at Wanderong Cooks (1 Fish Lane South Brisbane)”

As of 12noon on Jan 30th, 77 of the 112 tickets are sold and 6:00, 6:30, 7:00, 7:30 sittings are sold out.  Thank you very much for the overwhelming support!

Yakiniku Gura @ Shiogama

January 21, 2016

Quality wagyu on charcoal.  Enough said…   

pork tongue


食育 Food Education

January 16, 2016

When I come home, this greets me. 

 This is a home made smoker. sitting at the door step of my family’s house. 

My parents after retirement have taken heir slow food life another level.  They have a small vege farm and a beehive operation.  

When I wake up my mother serves us a simple breakfast.   
Home made bagel, home made yoghurt with home harvested honey, home smoked salmon.  The only thing not home made is the kiwi fruit and the cheese on the bagel.  

This is dinner on the first night. Salmon harakomeshi, pork miso soup, vinegared daikon and home grown persimmon.

New Year’s breakfast. Ozoni, a small osechi plate and some black beans along with a small cup of umeshu as otoso.  

in Japan, you eat osechi and Ozoni on New Year’s Day.   Ozoni is a mochi (glutinous rice cake) in broth.  Until recent mochi was considered a luxury and saved for special days like New Years.  In sendai, the Ozoni is made with roasted goby and salmon roe.

The osechi dishes are colorful bento boxes that were feasted on during the festive few days during New Years.

Each dish has a meaning. 

Kamaboko (fish cakes).  The red and white is always a symbol of good luck used in festive occasions. 

The date maki (sweet egg omelette rolls) look like rolls of calligraphy notes so are intended to bring culture and knowledge. 
 Deviled eggs, are not traditional but mother wanted to make use of her handmade mayonnaise.  
Nishime. Various ingredients are cooked in the same pot.  Intended to keep a cheerful well connected family.  The taro potato is for many children, root vegetables are good luck that they have good roots, ingredients that contain the letter “n” such as ninjin,  konnayaku, intend td to bring “un” (luck).  

  The other three components that were pictured in the the breakfast dish kobu maki (kelp roll) for knowledge and for happiness (yorokobu), tadukuri (small sardines as they were used as fertilizers) intended to bring good rice harvest, kuromame (black beans) so we can be tedious and be good farmers. 

Kelp Salad. Utilizing left overs of the stock for the Ozoni. 

 Steamed Chinese glutinous rice chimaki. Egg drop soup with home made chicken stock. Daikon salad, tofu with leek dressing. 
Although the house made ratio has increased a it after their retirement, these are the typical things that appear on the Akimoto family table. 

My mother has taught me to cook with the seasons and to enjoy the cultural celebrations. Along the way, her strong dedication for hand making and a phobia of artificial additives was passed down to me. We also hand make pretty much everything at our restaurant and my feeling it unethical to serve anything else to my customers started here. 

Ramen One

January 14, 2016

Gyokai (fish stock) Tonkotsu is another style that has taken off in Tokyo from a few years ago.  These guys are a serious contender.  A good variation of tonkotsu and dried fish variations on offer.  Personal preference, I find this and many Tohoku (northeast japan) tongues to be too salty so I would recommend asking for less salty (aji usume). 

 Spicy. Just ordered it for the sake of covering wverthing on offer but,, not really keen on this one.   

Shrimp kotteri.  Intense umami and pork base is very rich.    

 The assari shrimp flavour with extra egg. 

Standard “ramen one”. Mix of various fish stock and pork with a hit of mixed ginger. 

ラーメンビリー Ramen Billy @ Tagajo

January 14, 2016

Jiro inspired Ramens are now called “G-kei”   G=gattsuri=gut filling=gangsta.  Billy has opened up 2-3years ago and is quickly gaining popularity.  Funny to see even in Japan, the different styles taking time to expand into rural japan. Jiro style is a classic in Tokyo been around for 30 years now but is a new movement in northeast japan. 

Anyway, these guys do it right.  A super heavy tonkotsu soup condensed to gravy like consistency.  The charsiu is clumps of fatty braised belly.  Thick square chewy noodle House made .  
The maze men, a soupless marinated noodle dish topped with lots of nori, was pretty good with a pepper kick but is shadowed to mediocrety beside it’s bigger brother

Even the tad of MSG is not bad in all it’s authenticity.  As long as you have that inner 20 year old still in you, it’s pretty awesome. Guaranteed to sustain you for a bit over half a day.   


荻窪 二葉 Futaba @ Ogikubo

January 12, 2016

This shop Futaba is in Tokyo, Ogikubo.  They are no MSG and home made noodles same as Taro’s.  They have a kotteri (fatty) back fat niboshi (dried sardines) and a assari (light) chuka = shoyu and shio.  My order is kotteri niboshi.  The noodles are very very thick, it’s hand crinkled and nice and chewy albeit a bit short. Topped with pork belly charsiu slices, nori, chopped onion, and Yuzu peel.  

荻窪で無化調、自家製麺で やってる店。コッテリの背脂煮干しとアッサリ淡麗中華そばプラス塩ラーメンの三本だて。こってり煮干しをチョイス。ものすごく太い平打ち麺。テモミでもちもち。なかなか美味しい。少し麺が短いのが気になる。    


Sakuragi Seimenjo @ Tagajo

January 11, 2016

A new shop that opened up close to our parents.  Chicken based stock with abundant dried fish.  The noodles have a speckle of whole grain.  It could be a tad former for my preference but the balance was awesome. The toppings were Flavoured subtlety to not interfere with the soup and noodles. The bamboo was my favourite within the toppings.  Very crunchy.  Three types of charsiu.  A rare chicken breast, slow cooked rolled chicken thigh and a slow cooked pork belly.  On offer is Paitan shoyu or shio and clear chula in shio and shoyu. We ordered three of them excluding shio chuka. My favourite was the shio Paitan with strong Sababushi stock and raw egg yolk.  Only open during lunch. Was well worth the trip.  







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