Lately, I've been fortunate enough to discover a few new places to eat, visit my favourites and most importantly, do this with my closest and best friends. I think this is what makes me passionate about food; the fact that amidst everyone's busy life, there's always time to sit down, forget each other's differences and have a meal. These days, I find I enjoy it so much that even the pace at which I eat has slowed down. Previously I was known to swallow my meal in a matter of minutes but now, I find that I spend half my meal talking and the friends I'm eating out with have already finished what they ordered. I guess the last couple of years has seen everyone move on and do different things; you miss so much of it in the process that catching up is always done hand-in-hand with a meal.
Yesterday morning, I spent a good 30 minutes deciding on where to go with Mandy. There's a real art to choosing a place when you're planning to catch up with a friend. Ideally, the place is central to both of you, the place provides good ambience for chatting, of course there must be good food, and well for two people who've been on holidays in the past month, it is most certainly essential that the choice is economical. After much deliberation and sorting through options suburb by suburb, we settled for Genki in Atarmon. Mandy had been a couple of times, I'd heard about it, and well, it's Jap food; you can't go to wrong with that.
You'll find Genki as you exit from Atarmon Station; next to another famous Japanese restaurant (Sushiya) and amongst various other eateries and small shops. Expect a bit of a crowd if you're planning to head there on a Friday night but otherwise 6.30pm worked out well for us. Given there were just the two of us, it was probably a lot easier for us to get a table than if you had a big group. Mandy's been a couple of times and she advises to go there early to avoid disappointment; after we sat down, we did see people queueing.
Having previously tried Sushiya in Chatswood, I was told that Genki is actually much better and cheaper. Genki serves primarily ramen so for those looking for a bit of variety, Sushiya is probably the better option. Personally, a bowl of ramen always reminds me of eating in Japan so for me, I get a lot of enjoyment from such a simple dish. I mean, there's so much variety you can get in ramen; it would actually take a little while to get to try them all. For my first time at Genki, I actually found my bowl of ramen massive. I struggled with the last strands but the place has got the ok from me. I'd be more than happy to go back and eat there again and take guests with me (I had the Negi-Miso Ramen and Mandy had the Shoyu Ramen). Justin always says that it's the soup which differentiates the good from the bad; I thought Genki did a pretty good soup base. It's hard for me to judge objectively given the two of us had pretty similar bowls of ramen. Lol...I'll post again when I go back there.
The awesome bit to it is that it's a cheap meal. For lovers of Japanese food, it's a place worthy to visit. Very accessible by public transport and plenty of parking on the side streets. Careful with the mozzies around the area; don't let them bite you! Argh, I've got itchy spots all over me!