The Very Very Hungry Caterpillar

YES, this is yet another Melbourne food blog!

Nama Nama

Ground floor, 31 Spring Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
+61 3 9639 9500

Happy Chinese New Year, folks! May the year of the snake bring you good health, prosperity and love (unless I hate you, in which case I hope you choke and die – nah, jokes).

Because we don’t have family in Australia, my parents don’t make a huge song and dance when it comes to CNY celebrations. In a way, it’s good because it means I don’t have to bother with the rigours that come with CNY preparations. On the other hand, I miss being around relatives as they congregate around the dinner table, enjoying what Oma had prepared for dinner that night. My family in Australia might not have done much this year but we did enjoy noodles of various kinds over the weekend (I cooked Shanghai noodles last night while mum cooked chicken noodles this evening) – because that’s what we’re supposed to eat on CNY if we want to live a long life.

I’m going to continue on with this noodles theme by posting a quick review of Nama Nama’s famous udon soups before I go to bed tonight. Yes, I’m aware that they’re Japanese but who cares. Noodles are noodles and they all rock, thankyouverymuch.

I remember going to the gym that very Saturday morning and despite it being really hot, walking all the way from one end to the city to the other. And despite sweat dripping down my brow, I decided that I wanted a hot bowl of steaming udon from Nama Nama, Simon Denton’s latest venture.

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I started my lunch off with a prawn nama katsu bun ($7.50).

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It was delicious. The slightly toasty steamed bun was filled with a delicious crumbed prawn pattie and steamed egg filling, which was tied together by a tonkatsu sauce. I especially liked that the egg yolk was still runny when it was served so it blended quite nicely with the sweet tonkatsu sauce.

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After a 15-minute wait, my hot, hot bowl of udon arrived. Although Nama Nama’s selling point are their bento boxes (which the customer gets to choose what goes in them from a selection of dishes displayed at the counter), their udon bowls seem to have received more thumbs up from just about everyone I know. Forgoing my usual tempura prawn udon, I went for the decidedly less conventional wagyu beef, onion and spinach udon ($15).

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The noodles were served piping hot in a Kanto-style broth, which means that it not only looks darker than the Kansai broths but is also bolder in taste thanks to all the kelp and soy they use. I thought the udon was delicious; the beef was tender and although I’m not used to having spinach in my broth but I thought the flavour combinations worked well. I think I do prefer the more complex Kansai-style broth they serve at my favourite Japanese restaurants on the Gold Coast, though. That said, I give double props to Nama Nama for the beautiful hand-made noodles that were springy and chewy and aaargh, just so damn good!

Nama Nama is a neat little café that serves such beautiful food. Although I did find the udon on the slightly pricey side (it wasn’t a big bowl), I did enjoy it. At present, I still think Heiroku Sushi and Maruya (both on the Gold Coast) still make the best udons but Nama Nama is definitely one of Melbourne’s finest. I’ve hears that they now open for dinner so definitely stop by if you feel like a bowl of post-work udon!

Nama Nama on Urbanspoon

11 Comments on Nama Nama

  1. Kelly
    February 11, 2013 at 02:18 (2 years ago)

    Those udon noodles are soo lovely and fat! I heard they actually knead the dough with feet though, lol! Runny egg yolk always gets me. I’m weak.

    Reply
    • libishski
      February 16, 2013 at 13:00 (2 years ago)

      Oh yeah, they do knead the dough with their feet! (forgot to mention it in the blog)

      Agreed. Runny egg yolks + noodles = winning.

      Reply
  2. Daisy@Nevertoosweet
    February 11, 2013 at 13:27 (2 years ago)

    Ohh Nama Nama :) Have heard so much about it and have been meaning to try but haven’t had the chance yet ~ I’m not really an udon kinda girl but WANT that katsu bun!

    Reply
  3. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella
    February 11, 2013 at 21:38 (2 years ago)

    That katsu bun is so interesting! I’ve never seen anything quite like it-but I know that I want one :D

    Reply
  4. Catherine
    February 13, 2013 at 08:13 (2 years ago)

    I’ve been meaning to try Nama Nama for their udon but too lazy to make the trek up there. The steamed bun does look really good though, yum that egg yolk!

    Reply
  5. Ames
    February 14, 2013 at 21:49 (2 years ago)

    Whoa! It has been way too long since I’ve actually clicked through to read the posts from the blog rather than from my email inbox… love the new layout, Libby! Looks very clean and minimalistic <3 Never visited but I'm gonna make a mental note to try out that bun !

    Reply
    • libishski
      February 16, 2013 at 12:57 (2 years ago)

      Thanks for the feedback, Amy!

      Yeah, I’m still trying to fix the email thing. I think I might have done it last night but I’m not sure – let me know if you receive an email the next time I post something though!

      Yep, definitely give the buns a go. I know you’re on the other side of the city so a quick lunchtime bite would be out of the question but they’ve recently extended their hours to cater for the dinner crowd. Good news for us!

      Reply
  6. Winston
    February 16, 2013 at 22:14 (2 years ago)

    Heyyyy… Loving the new layout, Lib!! Very clean and minimalistic, which is great because they make your photos REALLY pop. Anyway, went to Nama Nama last year too and wish I had ordered that wagyu udon cuz it looked GREAT! Maybe next time haha

    Reply
    • libishski
      February 17, 2013 at 09:01 (2 years ago)

      Aww thank you, Win! Yeah, I’m still playing around with it. Still haven’t figured out how to add a ‘add comments’ link on the bottom of each post and still trying to figure out how to send email notifications to my subscribers. Man, I’m such a dumb bum! Ahh well… all in time…

      Definitely give the wagyu udon a go. I want to try their tempura prawn one the next time I go! :D

      Reply
  7. Jo
    March 5, 2013 at 21:19 (2 years ago)

    I found the katsu buns intriguing but to be honest, I wasn’t a huge fan of them. Now, the udon, is a totally different story. They were sooo good!! Apparently, they are kneaded with feet, clad in socks (thank god).

    Reply

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