Momiji is said to be the oldest Japanese food court stall in Sydney, with over 23 years in the Pittsway Arcade. That's a lot of katsudon pushed over the counter.
Momiji (Japanese for maple leaf) is a Japanese-run lunch bar in the city that does a bit of everything. There's bentos, sushi rolls and preprepared hot dishes for folks in a hurry, plus twenty or so cooked-to-order dishes.
We've seen few food court stalls as well organised as Momiji (and we spend a lot of time in food courts!). It gets pretty busy during the lunch rush but there's always a smiling face at the counter ready to take our order. The chefs are lightning quick too, dishes are prepared impressively fast, so don't feel shy about getting cooked-to-order dishes during the lunch rush.
Oh yeah, the food is pretty good, it's Japanese-run after all, we see the occasional Japanese customer down here too. The bainmarie-of-love seems very popular but we've had the most thrills with the bento and dons (rice bowls). The only downside is that Momiji is only open for weekday lunches making it hard for us non-city workers to get to. And man, the lighting in Pittsway sucks for food photos, we've tried various cameras and lenses, all kinds of exposure settings, sitting in different spots, nothing quite works. We'll figure it out. Oh how we love the killer lighting at Eating World.
#1 on the menu is chicken katsudon - $9.50. Deep fried chicken fillet\schnitzel cooked up with egg and gorgeous sweet simmered onions, on top of rice. The mix of deep fried chook with lightly cooked egg and sweet onions is a symphony of super terrific lunch hour happiness.
#2 on the menu is oyakodon $8.50. Similar to number 1 but a bit healthier with simmered chook rather than deep fried chook. Eight bucks fifty for a good oyakodon is a bargain. So happy.
Gyudon with egg - $8.50. Similar to above - thin beef slices and onion simmered in soy, mirin, sake and sugar, with an egg tossed in right at the end. Awesome.
Regular ramen/gomakura ramen in miso ($8.50/$9.50). Option of thick or thin noodles, thick noodles go best with the miso style. The broth has a lovely nutty aroma and flavour. It has the traditional two pieces of roast pork and the eggs are almost hard boiled but the yoke is still a little soft and yummy. The gomakura version has a light touch of chill. It's pretty good for a joint that doesn't specialise in ramen, and cheap too. Or lordy we feel another ramen bender coming on...
Momiji has ready-to-go bento boxes for $7.50. This is the salmon bento. Shawn ate it too quick to take note of what all the bits were, but he can assure you it was all delicious. The deep fried bits made up for the healthy grilled fish. We must go back for the pumpkin croquette bento
#30 Hiyashi Chuka $8.00. Cold ramen noodles with slices of fried chicken and salad piled on top. Available already made up in a takeaway container, sesame sauce is also provided separately to pour over as you like. A glob of mayo and a little smidge of mustard make it more like a bento. There's also a buckwheat noodle salad ready in the takeaway bar.
You can order from the bain marie of love which has a different hot food special each day.
From the bainmarie-of-love we a good old 3-choices-on rice with pumpkin croquette with some bbq sauce on top, miso chicken and simple stir fried veggies. The veggies were the surprise hit. $9.50 for a large serve, the small serve might be better if you don't want to over-carb on rice.
Mustard and chilli fixins available on the front counter to add some spice to your meal. Choose either a thick paste or a spoonful of chilli oil.
Momiji Japanese Takeaway is at 4/303 Pitt St Sydney, downstairs at the Pittsway Food Court.