Sunday, June 14, 2009

dan-dan japanese dining & noodle bar, neutral bay

Read about this new noodle place in a Chinese newspaper and wanted to try it because it's run by the same group that run Sushi Samurai (Neutral Bay and Pyrmont, both of which are very good). Headed there for a late lunch on a Saturday and I must admit I was a bit worried that'd be shutting up shop by the time we arrived at 2pm, but funnily enough it actually got busier (and they kept serving) as we had our meal.

Agedashi tofu - $5.80. The sauce was very thin, almost like a soup, which is different to the agedashi I've tried elsewhere. Nice though.

Rice balls (or should that be pyramids?) - ikura (salmon egg) $4.50 and takana (mustard leaf) $3.80. Both very good - I'm a big fan of pickles so the takana went down well, and the seaweed was very fresh and crisp.

Inside of the ikura rice ball. Delicious...

Ramen with extra pork in tokotsu miso soup - $10.80 + $2 for the pork. Which meant it was cheaper than the roast pork ramen which retails for $14.80. Stingy, much? :) Maybe they give you more pork with the roast pork ramen... chapflap found the soup a bit too salty, we saw on the menu that you can ask for less salt so maybe that's an option. It was also slightly chilli which I found unusual, but chapflap said that some types of miso are chilli.

Karaage chicken ramen in shio (salted) soup - $12.80. I should've asked for the chicken on the side because it got soggy, but apart from that it was good. I especially liked having a whole egg (because at Ryo's you only get half an egg; although the Ryo's egg had a lot more flavour than this egg) and the seaweed sheet (at Ryo's I always get myself into a dilemma trying to decide whether to have a ramen that I don't like as much, just to have the seaweed, or to have the ramen I'm really after, but to sacrifice the seaweed). The bamboo shoots were also very fresh and tasty.

I liked how there's an option of 6 soups for the ramen (sho-yu or soy based, miso, shio, tonkotsu sho-yu, tokotsu miso and tokotsu shio), so you can definitely choose the combination that's to your liking. Apart from ramen there's also udon and soba, as well as rice bowls with teriyaki, tempura and funnily enough "ma-bo tofu" (痲婆豆腐). I must say I've never seen it before in a Japanese restaurant.

Another highlight was the innovative interior design - they've used a mixture of English and Japanese newspapers to line one of the walls, which makes for interesting reading while waiting for your meal to arrive. Otherwise there's a open kitchen so you'll be sure not to be short of entertainment.

Dan-Dan Japanese Dining & Noodle Bar
Shop 3/197 Military Road (intersection with Rangers Road, on the southern side of Military Road)
Neutral Bay NSW 2089

(02) 9904 1888

Open 7 days from 12midday to 3pm (see, I had nothing to worry about arriving at 2pm) and 5:30pm to 10:00pm (last order 9:30pm)

You can get more information here

On the little take-away menu I got, it says "no booking available for dining". Parking is notoriously tight around Military Road, you can park at the nearby Woolworths carpark (entrance on Yeo Street) for free if you buy something from Woolies (which means yes, the parking's not really free, but if you buy something that you're going to need anyway, then it's ok)

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