Saturday, July 11, 2009


224 Hawken Drive, St Lucia

It seems that every day, we go through the same struggle. Usually, I have a fairly good idea of what I want to eat. We'll drive out and for some reason, the first line of choice never works out. Maybe that particular restaurant is closed. Maybe I change my mind halfway. We'll then drive all over the place, floundering as we work out what the alternative should be.

On this occasion, I bounced through phases of wanting Indian, Turkish, Mexican and then finally, Japanese. I wanted Japanese that wasn't too fancy but wasn't eatery standards either. I know, I'm insanely picky.

The good news is, we got there in the end. Charlie came up with the goods by recommending Edamame on Hawken Drive. Whilst I've been to many food joints along Hawken Drive (being a UQ, St Lucia student, it's inevitable), I hadn't eaten at Edamame. I had never so much as glanced inside before.

When we got there, I was surprised at how 'cute' the restaurant was. It's decked out in a stylized Japanese eatery format - the kind of thing that really appeals to me.

The menu is huge, messy and bull-clipped together. After flipping through the many pages, we picked a selection of food, sat down and waited.

Pan-fried gyoza

To start, we had a serving of gyoza. Gyoza is a really standard Japanese-style dumpling. Though it's offered at almost every Japanese restaurant, I rarely order it. Not sure why I did so on this day but they were quite nice.

Deep-fried soft-shell crab with tempura vegetables and soy dipping sauce

Charlie chose the soft-shell crab to share. There are big portions of crab that have been deep-fried to a crisp. Really delicious when dipped in the soy sauce. After a while, your throat feels greasy but hey, that happens when you choose food that's been drenched in hot oil. There are also pieces of tempura vegetable which are nice albeit also very oily.

Tonkatsu pork with Japanese curry

For mains, I had a classic: Japanese curry with tonkatsu pork. This is basically a fried, crispy, crumbed pork cutlet. It's quite a standard dish and in my opinion, that means it's hard to make it 'exceptional'. Edamame's pork cutlet was nicer than most others I've tried so *applause* to them. It was just really tender, well-seasoned and super crisp on the outside. The curry itself was milder than the one at Kadoya. I think I prefer Kadoya curry but that's a personal thing and both are nice.

Chili beef ramen

Charlie had chosen a chili beef fried ramen. It was really spicy. I thought the flavors were reminiscent of Korean kim chi. This isn't my type of dish but Charlie quite liked it.

My experience at Edamame was great. The dishes are quite cheap but the environment is nicer than the cafeteria-style eateries that are normal in the city. I'm really glad I tried this place and am looking forward to going back.

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