Childbirth, motherhood and everything that comes with it are the hardest yet most rewarding things I have ever done. I didn’t partake in any antenatal courses but I doubt that attendance would have prepared me for the onslaught of emotions, frustration, helplessness and tears, from baby and myself, that motherhood inevitably brings. People warn you of the sleepless nights, the fatigue, the crying... but there are the secrets that no class, book nor other mothers mention – that breastfeeding is hard work and is accompanied by many poos (oh, the poos!) and a crazy amount of nappies early on, that textbook advice rarely yields the described results in your non-textbook baby, and that you will have less time to yourself than you ever expected. And now, seemingly all of a sudden, Mini-human is 9 months old today and my feelings about motherhood are quite well summed-up by Catty. Though there are days when I feel that he is stretching my newfound levels of patience so much that I may have to chuck him in the bin, he can win me over effortlessly with nothing more than a flash of a smile. I’m now convinced babies are evil alien masterminds cloaked in mini-human cuteness with an intent to rule our worlds, but I remind myself that I have only another 2 months day-in-day-out with mine before the return to work beckons.
I don’t have the luxury of sleep-ins anymore and we are going through a trying period of post-viral fussiness/teething/night waking/milk refusal, which means that until Mini-human sorts himself out, Husband and I don’t have the option of leaving him in someone’s care whilst we go on a dinner date. He’s only been without the both of us twice – the first time for Mistress’ wedding, and then this.
Often when we’re out having brunch/lunch we take it in turns to eat whilst the other keeps Mini-human amused or takes him for a short walk in the pram so that he drifts off to sleep. The sad result is that we’re out together but end up eating separately as such. We had an early afternoon bank appointment recently and took the opportunity to catch lunch beforehand while our mothers kindly kept an eye on Mini-human. The choice was Japanese cafeteria-style, now-not-so-new Marukame Udon which Husband hadn’t had the chance to visit as yet, plus it had been many months since I went with Chocolatesuze and a particularly fussy Mini-human at the time. (Yes, there is ample space to manoeuvre prams here but you’ll be restricted to downstairs seating. Also, bring someone along so they can order while you scope out where best to sit.)
So you front up to the counter, admire the udon being freshly machine-made onsite and choose from the 13 udon options on the menu. While it’s cooking, shuffle along the smorgasbord of battered and crumbed deep-fried goodies and try not to go overboard with your selection. Husband is a batter man, as evidenced above, but give the squid a pass as sadly it’s refashioned squid paste rather than the bouncy real thing. The cheese frankfurt is my guilty pleasure, pleasingly smoky, and great washed down with a refreshing iced green tea for only $1.50, sweetened or unsweetened, from a self-dispenser near the cashier.
I’m a crumb fan myself and the curry croquette is reassuringly non-goopy with a nice curry powder flavour. If you want to up the ante, there is curry salt along with unlimited spring onion, tempura flakes and other condiments at a separate counter after you pay. The tonkatsu has a thin ring of fat around one side of the fillet, and appears to be pork loin,
but there is no tonkatsu sauce
to be found for dipping, boo... **EDIT** and you can find tonkatsu sauce in the "Worcestershire"-labelled bottles at the condiments station (thanks Shez!).
Make sure you grab a spare plate if you get the seaweed salad, as it unfurls substantially and you’ll need room to toss it with the contents of an included mini-bottle of fragrant sesame dressing. It’s good value at $3.90 and provides relief from the deep-frieds as well as the bouncy udon in sweet-ish broth and, in our case, gooey egg yolk. Perfect for warming your insides in this colder weather.
332 Victoria Ave (btwn Spring & Archer St), Chatswood NSW
Tel: (02) 9413 9434
Opening Hours: Mon-Wed 11:30am-8pm