Oiden Bowl Bar, Sydney


In the same shop­ping arcade as my new favour­ite place for udon, Menya Mappen, there are a bunch of oth­er food places serving tra­di­tion­al Japanese fare with the same self-serve sys­tem. Directly next to Menya Mappen is Oiden Bowl Bar whose menu focuses on rice bowl dishes.


The first items on their menu involve raw sal­mon. They’re described as ‘raw minced sal­mon belly, fly­ing fish row (sic), dried sea­weed and egg yolk powder on rice’ ($8.50 for large). The addi­tion of an ontama (half boiled egg) (+$1) is the only dif­fer­ence between them.


N and I had second thoughts on the minced sal­mon when read­ings the descrip­tion, but then the photo of the dish on the menu showed diced small cubes of sal­mon so we decided to try it any­way. Unfortunately, not true to their photo, the sal­mon came out almost minced bey­ond recog­ni­tion (oth­er than its tell­tale pinky col­our). It had the tex­ture of baby food (i.e., none) and tasted bland. The addi­tion of was­abi brought out some of the sal­mon fla­vours but without any tex­ture in the sal­mon, the roe only made the rice bowl more mushy. The egg was soft-boiled but a taken a tad too far so was left with a gooey, rather than slightly oozy centre. Perhaps that was for the best, ’cause the oozy egg yolk would have made the rice bowl too much like baby food.


To go with my rice bowl, I chose a beef and potato cro­quette. I had high hopes for some­thing tasty, but it seems like they made the cro­quette by put­ting beef, potato and onion into a food pro­cessor (maybe the same one they put the sal­mon through?!), blend­ing into obli­vi­on, and then deep fry­ing slabs of it. The res­ult is a single col­oured brown mash that’s also the tex­ture of baby food. Texture issues aside, the fla­vour­ing was decent.

While I won’t be in any rush to return to Oiden, they do seem to be rather busy dur­ing lunch hour so per­haps their BBQ beef bowls fare bet­ter.

Oiden Bowl Bar is loc­ated at 12 /​537 – 551 George Street, Sydney NSW 2000.