It’s cheap. It’s tasty. Satisfying and quick. I’m talkin’ bout Japanese canteen food.
Upon entering you are greeted with an effervescent cheer of ‘Irraisshaimase!’ by staff. I’ve known of Oiden for a while now so am familiar with the concept of Japanese canteen-style dining. Oiden is largely self serve but you have to order your main first at the counter. What I adore is the range of customisation available to your meal. Would you like an extra ontama egg ($1.20)? Eat in or takeaway (extra 20c for container)? Extra hot or cold sides? ($1 – $3) You got it.
MsBrulee dined courtesy of Washoku Lovers and Oiden. Opinions however are my own.
I strongly suggest you peruse the Oiden menu and decide what to order before entering the restaurant as well as portion size – Choose between large, regular or small? Conveniently there are the different bowl sizes on display and clearly labeled too. The menus are posted all along the walls as well as right at the entrance, you can’t miss them. I recommend you make up your mind beforehand especially during peak dining periods because these sort of places get packed. Once you join the queue you’re going to have to move across to the next station quite quickly, lest you endure the wrath of hungry Sydney-siders.
Begin first by choosing drinks if you would like them, then order with the server. Food is cooked to order and staff are incredibly efficient at sending out meals. Next you choose your hot sides, followed by cold sides and then you pay the cashier at the end.
If you’re a Washoku Lovers member you receive a free Hachimitsu drink, a refreshing beverage available on tap. To sign up click here (it’s free to join and plus if you show your card at any of the partnered restaurants, depending on the venue you get a whole host of freebies)
All hot sides are crumbed and deep fried tasty little extras to go with your main charged at an extra few dollars per piece. My favourite is chicken karaage, but there’s also takoyaki, deep fried tofu, spring rolls and shrimp sticks.
Cold sides consist of seaweed salad, mochi, potato salad, I find the portions too small and not worth paying for even if it’s only going to cost an extra couple of dollars so I normally skip this section and move past, straight to the cashier where they calculate the cost of everything together.
Grilled sliced beef, coleslaw, original BBQ sauce, sesame seeds, pickled ginger, ontama egg. I think the rice is en point here, perfect amount of vinegar, slightly sweet and a touch sticky. My pieces of beef taste as if it’s come straight from a BBQ, divinely smoky and sweet. Can we please a moment to appreciate the ontama egg? A half-boiled egg which I take great pleasure in slicing open to reveal the runny yolk. I think it’s fantastic mashed up with rice and whatever you desire and oh I’m salivating again.
Deep fried chicken thigh, sour teriyaki sauce, ponzu infused grated radish on rice
Like I’ve mentioned previously, I’ve been here many times before and have had the chicken karaage, it’s consistently moist, succulent and juicy. The grated radish infused with ponzu (tart citrus-based sauce) is a cold topping, its consistency of shaved ice and the parts that don’t have ponzu drizzled over it taste watery. Not going to lie, the reason why I chose the chocolate mochi was mostly because I was invited and I was curious to try it. It’s coating has a waxy mouthfeel that doesn’t taste of chocolate…I’m going to stick with the original kind albeit the red bean paste filling is redeeming – This came in a packet and is made in China, so I’m not blaming Oiden whatsoever, it would be really fun to have some authentic Japanese desserts though.
Would I pay to eat here? I have and I will continue to do so, you’re going to love this place if you’re a student or want cheap eats and who doesn’t fall into either of those categories?
Monday – Sunday: 11:30am – 10:00pm