Ascot Open Thru Easter! (CBD will be Closed)

March 28, 2015

Easter & ANZAC Day Trading Schedule

 

Date                                                CBD                                  Ascot

 

Apr 2 Thu                                       Open                                 Open

Apr 3 Good Friday                          Closed                               Open*

Apr 4 Easter Sat                             Closed                               Open*

Apr 5 Easter Sun                            Closed                               Open

Apr 6 Easter Mon                           Closed                               Open*

Apr 7 Tue                                        Open                                 Open

 

Apr 25 Sat Anzac Day                    Closed                               Closed

 

We’ll try opening Ascot over Easter! It is actually near impossible to trade with penalty wage rates which including super costs amount to around $50 per hour per casual employee so just to try to make it a bit more feasible for us to serve you, on the public holidays, 3rd, 4th and 6th, we ask your cooperation in bearing a small surcharge of $2.00 per adult. Our full time staff including myself will all be working hard and looking forward to seeing you at Ascot!

 

Thank you! Taro

 

Taro’s Ramen – Ascot

Izakaya Style with a more diverse Tapas (Otsumami) Menu and Drinks Menu!

1/145 Racecourse Rd

Ascot QLD 4007

Parking at Rear of Shop!

07-3868-2833


Taro’s Loyalty Program Coming Soon

March 24, 2015

Honestly the economic environment for us minnow restaurants is not getting any better but we have been truly fortunate with amazingly wonderful customers that we wanted to recognize the loyalty of them (you!).

The cards are being printed as we speak and I think we can launch the program sometime soon.

Collect a stamp for every $15 spent and get a reward after every 8 stamps. Your 4th reward is a $20 voucher or official team attire. Choose between apron or t-shirt. The apparel is brought to you by the team at the Print Bar.

I just want to tell the story of how I ended up using them. Finding them was probably fate! I wasn’t happy with the quality of t shirts made at a mega international printing company so I was googling for a local company that can do it at reasonable prices. So I found the Print Bar online and spoke on the phone to set up an appointment and I drove myself down and popped in.

When I walked into the shop, I was greeted with a scream in the face, “Oh my god it’s Taro!! I love your Ramen!!”

And now, I don’t want to sound biased after such a whole hearted greeting from young lady Miss A but the entire team at the Print Bar were a pure delight to do work with till the end. They have such a cool creative vibe flowing in their Windsor Office and workshop. After I passed them the USB containing logos, Mr L edited it into a design on the spot and 1 week later, all finished! Being a local business, I was able to check the quality of the material of the cloth etc and speak to them about different options about longer lasting screen print method etc. and all the designing and printing is done in house right there. Also I don’t know for sure but i felt like I was in a boutique fashion outlet and the various designs (the shapes) of the t-shirts seemed hipster approved coo? Is that an appropriate expression? Anyway not outdated.

Owner of the Print Bar, Jarred and myself in the team colors!

Miss A holding our design screen which physically hold the logo in position which means the design is better quality and longer lasting than a computer printing option.

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Tonkotsu Soup

March 17, 2015

Ok, with Ascot up and running and BrisAsia done and dusted, I am continuing my never ending task of bettering the quality of our ramen.

Have recently changed the tonkotsu extraction method to triple extraction. 1st go to get the gelatinous texture and the main source of umami and pork unless of the soup, second go to deepen the flavour, the third go to get the fats all broken down to get a creamy emulsified layer.

Any noticeable difference? Feed back welcome.

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Suntory Premium Malts

March 16, 2015

This is going to be a long one because this Beer is something that needs to be given proper respect.

On Feb 25th, I was invited to Suntory Premium Malts demonstration event. There I met Mr Ohno and Mr Nakai from Suntory Head office who spoke about this amazing beer.

When I left Japan 10 years ago, Kirin and Asahi were battling it out, with the main focus being the creation of a cheaper beer. In terms of a quality beer, Asahi dominated with the Super Dry and Sapporo had Yebisu as the only premium beer at the time. One company was determined to change things not by making it cheap, but by making the best tasting beer Japan had ever had. Suntory.

They came up with Premium Malts and not only overtook Yebisu as the top premium beer status, it sold and sold and sold. The rest is history and suntory have finally decided to bring its own stuff to down under. Considering the majors capital relationships and partnerships, it was only natural that suntory was the one to do it aside from our other quality brewer, Orion.

The characteristic of PM is a deep flavour with elegant aroma. They use hops from Czech and Germany and they utilize a double decoction method for their malts and the hops are added twice before and after to provide the rich aroma and taste.

PM is only made in a few select breweries in Japan which sites have been chosen for access to superior spring water. After brewed, temperature controlled all the way to Australia. Reefer container and refrigerated trucks to our local supplier JFC.

We as restaurants have a big responsibility to serve this precious drop. Because if we serve it right, it becomes a completely different beast from the canned or bottled stuff.
At the same time, it’s so easy to mess it up and create a worse tasting beer than the bottles and cans.

In essence, we must keep the beer server and glasses hygienic, keep the gas pressure at ideal local levels, and utilize good pouring technique.

I was taught the balance of CO2 and internal keg pressure was actually more inportant than I thought. Internal temp and internal pressure must match each other. Keg’s internal gas pressure varies with the ambient temperature and is approximately as follows.

10deg 1.7kg/cm3
20deg 2.6
30deg 3.5

If the keg pressure is not matched with external CO2 gas, if too strong, gas seeps into the beer itself creating too sharp taste. If too weak, beer is flat.

Ohno San goes into detail about instructing us about the keg hooking up process. Set gas initially at 1. Means keg temp is equivalent of 2deg. Hold beer tube vertical. Once hooked up the internal pressure of the keg will force beer up the Tube. Also due to the added CO2 gas pressure of the system being weaker than the keg, gas will start to separate from the liquid inside the system and this is evident in the tube. you gently bring gas pressure up until bubbles stop coming up in the tube, which means the internal gas pressure is now balanced.

The purpose of the all so important Head has 5 purposes.
1. Texture
2. A cap to seal aroma and taste from escaping
3. A cap to seal gas from escaping
4. A cap to reduce oxidization
5. Acts as a Natural esky to keep icy cold temperature

Suntory have only released the 10ltr kegs. This is to make sure that the beer is consumed in a few days. In an industry that pursues efficiency and economics more than anything, this is very impressive. As you know, Aussie industry standard keg size is 50ltrs.

The beer must be poured gently in the beginning to 70% and then finished off with a creamy head for the remaining 30%.

The glassware must be hand washed to keep clean, the servers must be cleaned daily, the kegs must be stored at stable conditions most importantly not stir it up to create unnecessary internal pressure. In this sense, once arriving our shop, the kegs are left at room temperature next to the server ready to be hooked up without moving it.

Ohno San says that Suntory creates good beer but it is up to the restaurants and bars to make it absolutely awesome beer. And even in Japan, sadly he only sees 10% of the shops that serve PM serving it at levels he is happy with.

Angel rings. When you drink a well poured PM, you will see the bubbles stick to the internal of the glass in rings, one ring per sip.

Smoky bubbles. The less bubbles from the bottom the better but the tiny layer of bubbles directly underneath the creamy head is responsible for rejuvenating the creamy head. Just by tilting the glass and drinking it, the smokey bubbles recreates another layer of creamy head.

Glass or mug. We were given the choice of glass or mug. Both are 380ml capacity and honestly, from a business perspective, it looks bigger and more manly and appealing in a mug so I think you will see more shops opt for the mug. But I took Ohno san’s advice in the curved shape enhancing the aroma so I have employed the glass for Taro’s.

Suntory Premium Malts Nama will be available at our city shop from tomorrow March 17th. The Ascot shop is on the waiting list for the next server to arrive, shouldn’t be too long.

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Bangalow Sweetpork Article on Bagguse

March 7, 2015

Bagguse Magazine, Japanese monthly magazine posted an article on Bangalow Sweetpork and introduced our pork belly shabu shabu hotpot a as the way to enjoy it.

The shabu shabu requires time to prepare so pls call and leave a message.

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Bardon community markets

March 1, 2015

Visited this market to say hello to Nikuman Fluffy and to get our weekly fruit and veg.

Breakfast consisted of mince on toast and fresh OJ at little larder, nikuman and gyoza from NF, bratwurst from the GB house, hibiscus iced tea and iced coffee from Wiley fox coffee.

nikuman fluffy is run by a husband and wife couple, the husband being an ex employee of ours and it is probably no coincidence that their nikuman is authentic, home made, all natural, msg free. Attention is given to the detail. The gyoza pan is a japan made heavy steel pan, and the filling is juicy and meaty to my liking! Maki told me that she is experimenting with the recipe and her current recipe involves shio koji (salted fermented rice with live cultures). Shio koji is a wonder seasoning. (We are currently using it in our monthly miso ramen. The koji mold enzymes break down the protein in the meat or soy to create a deeper umami.) The thicker crunchy crust that forms in a pan like this is completely different to a lighter Teflon aluminum pan. It is no wonder that their fan base is growing.

Another stall that caught my eye was the apple and stone fruit farmer from stanthorpe. In the end he struck me with his zeal and sincerity. His prices were slightly higher but I could tell that he was the farmer himself and that there must be good reasoning behind his pricing. His stall wasn’t pleasantly decorated with farmer-esque earthy looking decor or advertised with the magic o-word, his prices weren’t the cheapest, but he simply had a limited supply of limited products in season.

Many people ask me which ramen is the best or my favorite? I seriously answer, “I can’t choose between my children”. Customers who ask that question just laugh thinking what an exaggerated jerk I am. I think this farmer wouldn’t laugh though.

When I started browsing, he asked me whether I had any chooks. When I enquired why, he went on to explain how his stone fruit had become unsaleable due to getting dry from being in the cold room for a week longer due to the storm last week. They looked perfect from the outside and he went in length to explain the precious nature of the fruit which unfortunately was the very last harvest of his beautiful stone fruit crop and that they’re not nice anymore. He gave us a bite. It wasn’t off, the flavour and sweetness and aroma were all good, it was just the texture and juiciness that was compromised. The dry powdery texture you get in fruits that have lost moisture.

I admire and share his absolute pride in standing by the quality of his produce and trying to find a use for the result of his hard work. They are virtually indistinguishable from the outside and he might have been able to sell it for processing purposes or on sell it to a wholesaler or some sort of b grade distribution channel. Instead, he was giving it his best to try to find a home as chicken feed and to personally take responsibility for the fate of his unfortunate produce. He had about 10 different types of pears and apples and proudly lets customers taste test each single type. every apple was crisp and sweet as well as the pears. Being Japanese we opted for some Fuji apples and nashi pears but every single thing he had for sale was just prime. I just felt I have a lot in common with this guy.

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TASTE OF ASIA FOOD FESTIVAL FEB 27 THIS FRIDAY!

February 24, 2015
We’ll be cooking this Friday in front of the casino.  Hope the weather is good!  Please come and say hi!  I am looking forward to seeing Adam Liaw san.  Taro
Taste of Asia
Taste of Asia
When Friday, February 27, 2015, 11am – 9pm
Cost Free
Venue Reddacliff Place
Venue address 266 George St, Brisbane
Schedule Part of BrisAsia Festival.
Note

Experience delectable delights as Taste of Asia sponsored by Treasury Casino & Hotel opens its bamboo doors from 11am to 9pm on Friday 27 February.

Let your tastebuds explore what is to be offered at the many Asian food stalls or express your inner creativity and make your own lantern at our lantern workshop.

Watch how our celebrity chef Adam Liaw makes his favourite home cooked meal and interact in a lively discussion about Asian comfort food or learn how to make your own edible garden with fresh green Asian vegetables.

Roving entertainment and lively performances will ensure a great day out for the family!


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