The Good Food Guide 2017

July 19, 2016

Wow! Never thought I would be freaking out on stage in front of company like this. I did not even plan on going to the party but lucky I made it!

When I left my corporate job six years ago, I never associated myself or ramen to be anywhere in proximity of the glitz and glam of the annual good food guide awards. But I am glad I just kept doing what I love, am very happy and honoured to be recognised by people who know food! It seriously would never have been possible without you so I would like to thank my family, the best, hard working staff in the world, and to all my loving supporting customers!

Feel so happy for regular customers Taylor of Anise for Best Bar Food, Ben Williamson of Gerrard’s, Chef of the Year, Jerome of Gauge for Best Restaurant of the Year! David at Restaurant Two for a Hat, Phillip at Ecco for two hats, and Brenden and Ryan at Esquire for Three as usual!

Also our neighbours to be, OTTO, the Best New Restaurant of the Year! Maybe a happy surprise for our landlords Dexus to have two winners in the 480 Queen building!

Check out the video just uploaded!!…/the-winners-roundup-brisbane-t…

At Home, Doing Office Work

April 18, 2016

I was home supposed to be doing office work and wandered into the kitchen to procrastinate.  One thing led to another, here’s the result. Once I start, everything just sparks up inside my head and I can’t stop.


Making ginger and Nagasaki dried anchovy infused oil.

Good quality sea salt.

  First bowl. The tare I made was sea salt, piece of konbu, pinch white pepper, ejima shoyu and teriyaki sauce (home made master sauce mirin, soy and chicken extract from dipping).  Although the idea was good, and overall very tasty, the teriyaki was a bit too strong and overly sweet. 

Ejima Shoyu, the farmers around Saikai in Nagasaki make their own soy sauce but this is an ancient craft about to become extinct. Only two farmers currently make the soy sauce and there are no successors. 

Blending the ginger anchovy oil with the seasoning.

Soup.  Pork bones (just some bone bits from a few cutlets I am going to cook for dinner) cooked for a bit less than an hour, skimmed tediously and blended with dried mackerel at the last 20min.

The second bowl.  Was quite happy with this one.   A clean clear broth really bringing out the beautiful niboshi (anchovy) flavour and the rough edges of the ejima shoyu.  Dropped the teriyaki, went straight with the ejima and anchovy oil, this was really good.


Back to office work….

Introducing Kingaroy Pork / Adam’s Continental Smallgoods

April 5, 2016

Busy times!  Ascot is getting really busy as well as the CBD temp shop.  The season is getting nice for a bowl of ramen.  

This week for the first time, we were short on our usual Bangalow Sweetpork so I had to take alternative measures.  I usually go to Prime Specialty Meats at James and Gasworks to get the same Bangalow sweetpork but I had already bought their stock out so I needed to think quick.  

I took fellow chef David Pugh’s ( advice and got in touch with Adam Junior and Margaret of Adam’s Continental Smallgoods see if I can get some neck for my charsiu.  I had been treated a sample of their Pork from David before and knew the quality was top notch and after a chat with Margaret and Adam, I am happy to reaffirm my view on quality and happy to have found a real honest gem of a smallgoods manufacturer.  The Croatian family know a thing or two being in the butcher trade and Smallgoods manufacturing for 32 years and they have a direct route from Kingaroy to get only the best quality female pigs in.  Adam was able to supply me with 10 rolls of the neck so I will advise to customers that during the next few days, your charsiu might be Kingaroy pork instead of Bangalow Sweetpork.  I will guarantee that they are just as nice, a tad leaner and smaller but just as juicy and sweet, we have a 25 gram weight portion control standard for the charsiu serves so you won’t be disadvantaged. I hope you can accept my and restaurant Two’s selection criteria as satisfactory and accept the possibility of getting Kingaroy pork charsiu instead. It will only be for the standard soy flavoured neck charsiu and our soup and pork cheek and belly are all still Bangalow Sweetpork.  

Adam gave me a tour of the deboning, spicing, fermenting, drying, smoking, aging stages and Margaret treated me to sample the wide range from chilli infused wursts, prosciutto, smoked ham, liver wurst, etc, etc.  She kept on asking do you like liver? Do you like ham? Do you like bologne?  Do you like Black Forest prosciutto?  Hey I mustn’t tell a lie!  
We talked about potential future bone supply as well as I might be tight on bones too after my 480 Queen St shop starts up and I left a happy boy out of their factory shop with a big bag of their goodies which I am about to eat with some beer. 

Happy Days!  


Margaret on the slicer cutting me some Black Forest prosciutto.  Melted in my mouth.  


Old fashioned speck being hanged after smoking.   

They are in the middle of an industrial area but customers keep on coming!    

Do you like goeizinger?  Well you will love these guys!  


Smoker and oven.    

Deboning fresh.  

The cold room and the beautiful pigs I am after.    

Fresh Pork

The huge variety of house produced  smallgoods. 

Decent range of interesting looking dry goods and imported cheeses too. 


Taro’s Ramen – Artisan Series – Golden Shio Ramen

February 20, 2016

Some shots from the Wandering Cooks event last night.


Taro’s Ramen – Artisan Series – Golden Shio Ramen

@ Wandering Cooks / February 19, 2016


Golden Shio Ramen

An attempt to create a multi layered bowl with emphasis on dried mackerel


Pork, chicken, skimmed for clarity.  Vegetables for sweetness.

Dried kelp mackerel and scad added at the last minute for umami kick.
Perfumed with soffritto chicken oil and mackerel infused oil.
The seasoning is a blend of Australian sea salt, rock salt and Himalayan rock salt. mirin, sake, grain vinegar, flavoured with dried mackerel, scallops and fresh mussels.



Thin flat noodles made with local unbleached flour blended with yuzu and organic whole wheat flour. Hand crinkled one by one just before cooking, to create gentle curves to catch more soup.



Bangalow Sweetpork collar butt marinated with salted malt, soy and mirin.

Sous vide local Halal chicken breast in a smoke garlic pepper marinade.



Fermented bamboo shoots, desalted and cooked with soy, sake and mirin and a touch of sesame oil.



Eggs soft boiled and pasteurized at 58.9deg, marinated in smokey bonito dashi.


Shallots and Lemon Zest


$20 pre-purchased tickets only





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.