I kept hearing about the ramen and gyoza at Men-Jikan at Geebung. Geebung? It seemed unlikely.
Owner Terry Forbes is an Aussie chef who has stumbled into the clutches of the Great Ramendo and opened his unassuming restaurant in the Railway Parade strip shops opposite Geebung train station. He’s there right between the post office and the Salvos. Furnishings are basic but the food is good. This is the way of the Ramendo.
I’d heard a few people talk about the ramen and gyoza at Men-Jikan. They were particularly insistent that the gyoza was good. Then I heard that Taro of Taro’s Ramen had been inspired by Terry’s miso ramen to create his own version. This pretty much sealed the deal for me. I needed to visit Men-Jikan for myself.
I arrived a little before my dining companion, met Terry and wasted no time in ordering the gyoza. We were Terry’s only customers at around 1:30 pm and within minutes we were talking about takuan (fermented daikon pickle), Japanese breakfasts and Terry was checking out the parcel of Malaysian foods my Mum had brought back from her trip for me to try. Somehow between chatting with us, Terry managed to cook and serve us truly delicious gyoza filled with pork mince and cabbage, perfectly cripsy on the bottom, along with takoyaki (octopus balls with bonito flakes and kewpie mayo) and a mix of Japanese pickles, including his own pickled mustard greens, takuan, lotus root and ginger.
We both had Terry’s miso ramen, mine with the addition of kimchi. The miso broth was very good, rich with plenty of depth. Bamboo shoots, firm noodles and thick slices of char sui pork along with half a boiled egg nestled in the broth. The egg is plain, rather than sho-yu tamago (boiled eggs steeped in soy after cooking), but all the ingredients work well together. Ramen prices range from $12 – $15 which makes it a good deal, particularly for the generous amount of well flavoured pork. Excellent texture too, succulent and fatty with out being cloying and mouth coating. As we chatted a couple of locals wandered in, not to eat, but with a guitar to strum and sing out behind the kitchen and chat with Terry. He’s that kind of guy.
Men-Jikan also has the unlikely endorsement of Warwick Capper, who visited and signed the wall. Capper just went up a notch in my estimation.
If you find yourself in this part of Brisbane, I highly recommend a visit to Men-Jikan. Terry’s a great host, the food is good and it’s easy to park out the front. Oh, and have the gyoza!
Men-Jikan Noodle Shop
1/16 Railway Parade
Geebung Qld 4032
07 3265 5665