Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Thunder Road Brewing Co. + Mensousai Mugen Ramen Bar.
Gastrology was recently invited to a Japanese Dinner paired with Thunder Road Saison Japon, Silver Medal Winner at the Australian International Beer Awards 2014, and other Thunder Road Brewing Co. Beers.
Located in a hidden alley way, Mensousai Mugen offers an intimate dining experience over 2 floors. The menu features Ramen or Tsukemen and a delicious range of Japas (Japanese Tapas) to share alongside a range of selected wines and beers from the bar.
Renown Chef Kin San (Ikuei Arakane), Yoshi Kurosawa, the owner of Mugen Ramen Bar and Robot Bar across the road, were our hosts for the evening. We also gained insight into the delicious beers over the course of the evening as we heard from Colin Paige (Master Brewer) and Marcus Cox (Senior Brewer) from Thunder Road Brewing Co.
Saison Japon is a collaboration between Thunder Road Brewing Co. and Yoshi Kurosawa who just so happens to be a master cocktail alchemist. The beer is the perfect match for Japanese food, having European complexity as well as Japanese finesse. Infused with the four traditional Japanese botanicals including Konbu, Shiso, Yuzu and Ume, the result is a wonderful new style of beer.
What was clear from the food we devoured was the Mensousai Mugen philosophy - the focus on high quality produce and provision of a unique experience.
Our favourite beer and food match was this snapper and the Saison Japon. The aromatic, complex bitter and sweet flavours of the Yuzu immersed the tender pieces of snapper while the sushi rice was perfectly made. Together with the Saison Japon, this dish was sensational.
The Wagyu beef was stunning, exhibiting a melt in the mouth tenderness typical of a quality piece of Wagyu Beef. The spicy soy dipping sauce added a delicious savoury note while the black Sancho pepper added a desirable heat.
Roast duck breast slice wrapped soba crepe with yuzu & saikyo miso dip
We loved the duck’s thin crispy skin and the healthy layer of unctuous duck fat that lay atop the tender duck meat. The yuzu and saikyo miso dip provides a rich and robust flavour to the crepe wrapped duck pieces. With the crunchy cucumber to counteract the richness of the duck, it was simply delicious.
Slow cooked pork belly and parsnip puree with beer wheat served red wine vinegar
The large nugget of moist pork belly, which contained the perfect amount of unctuous fat, encased in a crisp outer crust imbibed with red wine vinegar was spectacular. Each bite was gratifying. We loved the addition of crispy beer wheat which added both texture and complexity.
White fish of the day served with Japanese Gin–an sauce
The final course of White fish of the day served with Japanese Gin–an sauce was, for us, the dish of the night. The fish was exceedingly tender, having retained its characteristic delicate texture. The fish boasted a lovely sweetness and juiciness which was further enhanced by the accompanying broth. The crispy skin looked and tasted amazing.
We loved Mugen Ramen’s distinctive Japanese cuisine which sets it apart from the crowd. Together with delicious beers from Thunder Road Brewing Co, the venue is a place where good food and good times go hand-in-hand.
Location: 11 Bligh Pl Melbourne
Phone: 03 9620 3647
Cuisine: Japanese, Noodle Shop, Tapas, Bar