707 Japanese, North Strathfield: Yaki udon beef

Rating: 3 out of 5

707 Japanese Restaurant
16 George Street, North Strathfield 2137

yaki udon beef

One of those types that are right up there on the Supremely Annoying People scale are those that will go to a specialty restaurant and will order anything but the specialty. You know the ones – they will order fish at a steak restaurant, or the chicken at a seafood restaurant. I accept that they may have been dragged there against their will, but hey, they have either have inconsiderate dining companions, or they should quit being so picky.

Having said all that, 707 Japanese in North Strathfield specialise in Japanese BBQ, where you can order cuts of wagyu fillet and tenderloin or ox tongue, and cook it yourself over the hot plate in the middle of the table.  It’s infinitely more fun when sharing with others, so on this occasion when none of my dining companions fancied a meat-fest, I was left to order noodles at a Japanese BBQ restaurant.  Yes, I became one of those people!

The yaki udon beef came out on a pretty, rectangular plate, loaded with strips of beef and a rainbow of vegetables, including crunchy broccoli, red and green capsicum, cauliflower, bean sprouts, and shredded cabbage.  The marinated beef was tender and juicy, and there was a good ratio of all ingredients so that I never felt like there was too much of one thing.  The noodles were a good balance of soft, yet firm, chewiness, and it was nice contrast to the crunchy greens.  The teriyaki sauce was sweet but not cloying, and brought everything together nicely.

The service here is friendly and polite, with my pot of hot green tea being refilled without even having to ask.  The decor is modern yet comfortable, with lots of dark wood, and the food came out quickly.  All in all, a solid and decent noodle experience.

707 Sushi & Salad Buffet on Urbanspoon

Asakaze, North Ryde: Karaage udon

Rating: 3 out of 5

Asakaze
Macquarie Centre, Herring & Waterloo Roads, North Ryde 2113

karaage udon

I’m normally not a huge udon noodle soup fan, if only because I usually prefer a fuller flavoured soup such as a tonkotsu or a laksa to the udon’s typically lighter flavoured kakejiru.  However, I was about to head to the gym for a work out and was looking for a light meal, so settled on the karaage udon at Asakaze.

The restaurant is within the Macquarie Centre shopping complex, and attempts to woo passerbys with their display of interesting and creative sushi offers.  Being a noodle fanatic, I was obviously going to go for either a ramen or a udon dish.  The service was polite, and the food arrived after only a short wait.

The bowl of steaming noodle soup was served with the karaage pieces bobbing on the top, getting soggier with each passing moment.  There were also thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms, a piece of fried tofu, kombu, shaved carrot, a slice of pink and white kamaboko, and finely chopped spring onions.  The thick white udon noodles were a little bit too soft, being noticeably chewier on the inside after biting through, but the light coloured kakejiru was not too salty with a tasty umami flavour.  The karaage was quite good, despite the soggy exterior, with the marinated chicken being tender and not too dry.

Overall, the karaage udon is satisfactory, filling a hole before you embark on a shopping expedition, or head to the movies or the gym.  It’s not particularly good value, with the modest portion size and a price tag of $12.90, however it’s hard to pick too many faults with it.

Asakaze Macquarie Centre on Urbanspoon