WITH most of us loosening our trouser belts after Christmas and tightening our financial belts, the Chook decided a healthy budget meal was in order.
Situated opposite some car showrooms on the Leach Highway, Ohnamiya is an unassuming little Japanese joint that doesn’t have any airs and graces.
It’s part of a row of small budget restaurants, so I imagine competition for punters is fierce.
We were greeted with a friendly “Hello!” from the lady behind the till as we took our seats at a utilitarian table beside the window.
There’s nothing fancy about the interior of Ohnamiya, but it’s pleasant enough for a quick, low-cost meal.
The menu was a double-sided laminated job with a wide range of dishes including bento boxes, donburi, curries, noodle soups, sashimi and sushi.
You could help yourself to free green tea from a samovar on a table in the middle of the restaurant and there were soft drinks in a fridge by the till.
The dining area was pretty large and spacious, but by 6pm almost every table was full.
There were a lot of Asian customers, which I took as a sign Ohnamiya served authentic cuisine.
After ordering at the till it wasn’t long before the waitress was at our table with my chicken vegetable udon noodle soup ($11.20).
The bowl looked quite small, but it was a bit of a Tardis, crammed with what seemed like endless reams of thick wheat noodles.
Layered on top was some shredded chicken, spring onions, bonito flakes and a medley of veg, which bolstered the salty, moreish broth.
The soup came with a tiny bowl of what looked like shichimi togarashi (Japanese chilli flakes), creating a lively overture.
The udon soup was tasty and very filling, without being too heavy for the warmer summer months.
Across the table, my kids were mauling their avocado rolls ($4.90 for five pieces) and cooked tuna rolls ($5.90 for five).
Rice erupted from the plate as the ravenous twins dispensed with the chopsticks and resorted to ramming the wheels of sushi into their mouths. It was like Bamm- Bamm and Pebbles on crystal meth.
I deduced from the empty plate and the odd grunt that the sushi was to their satisfaction.
My wife had already abandoned her New Year resolution to be healthy and was wolfing down her chicken katsu sushi box ($16.50).
“The breaded chicken is nice and crispy and comes with a lovely katsu plum sauce,” she said.
“I’m really enjoying the chicken, California and vegetable sushi. They have fresh ingredients and a nice mix of flavours to keep you interested.
“Overall, it’s a great value sushi box.” With the sun beginning to set, it was time to depart Ohnamiya and let my daughter try out her new roller skates at the nearby basketball courts.
With the total meal including two soft drinks coming to $44, Ohnamiya is a good option for a post-Christmas budget meal.
By Stephen Pollock
38 Hulme Court