Mentaiko and a Japanese slow-cooked egg? Yes please!
The combination of mentaiko (marinated cod roe) with hot spring/slow-cooked egg is just unbeatable for me. I was a bit disappointed with this though - maybe because I was really hungry that day - but it just didn't hit the spot. The sauce wasn't thick enough and not exactly soupy-brothy enough either, so it didn't really stick to the pasta. For better mentaiko noodles with a slow cooked egg, try Menya Mappen. It's cheaper and the service is cafeteria style and it's on the other side of the city, but so worth it.
I used to go to Sushi Tei a lot but hadn't been for a while since I had heard mixed reviews, including one of those friend-of-a-friend stories about 'someone getting horrible food poisoning - enough of a deterrent. But a couple of people have been telling me how they loved it, so I thought I'd give it a go. The menu is a lot more expansive and the fit out feels quite nice and spacious, without paying too much for food. Although it's a restaurant chain - it originated in Singapore and they have restaurants all over the world - it didn't feel like a typical restaurant chain, which is quite a feat within itself.
I kind of like this feel of Asian-chains - maybe it's from working and travelling through Asia where I have a soft spot for these restaurant chains with that sort of clean, fake-luxurious interiors. You know, it's a bit like Din Tai Fung, or Charme restaurants in Shanghai.
Cost: Mentaiko pasta with an onsem tamago, $13.50.
Value: The serving size was quite generous but I didn't find it that fulfilling. It's probably seen as good value for suits, but to me, not amazing. But then the restaurant itself is quite pleasant and large, so perhaps that's what you're paying for.
Speed: Longer than I thought it would be. I was with two other people and they got their food much earlier than me, so overall it seems to be quite erratic.
Tip: It is crazy during lunch hour. You need a bit more time to get here. Oh, and it's full of suits. For some people this is a plus, for others, a minus.
Recommendation: The food isn't amazing, but I can see why it's popular. I think it's good entryway to Japanese food for people who haven't had it before, in pleasant surroundings. It's not the sort of place where your foodie-socks will be knocked off.