I guessed that there would be lots of Japanese restaurants in Cairns. In Sydney, most of the Japanese restaurants are run by Chinese or Korean people, so I was surprised that in Cairns, a lot more of the Japanese restaurants are run by Japanese people.
I was so happy to see authentic, good quality Japanese meals at reasonable prices.
The Hungry Wombat was my first visit to a Japanese restaurant in Cairns. It specialises in noodle dishes– as they make noodle on their premises.
Shop front of Hungry Wombat
Yes, it is VERY hard to eat a vegan meal in a Japanese restaurant. But it is possible to eat vegan COLD NOODLE dishes (noodles in hot broth is very difficult because traditional Japanese noodle broths are made from fish). However for cold noodles, you can ask for soy sauce instead of dipping sauce (because this again contains fish stock).
It is always a pleasure to have handmade noodles, but this restaurants had very interesting udon noodles that contain wakame, the Japanese seaweed.
Cold Wakame Noodles
It was perfectly cooked and the texture was lighter than a usual udon noodle because of the wakame. SO yummy! The noodles made be so happy. It came with daikon oroshi (grated daikon) and grater ginger.
If you are not sure on the wakame noodles, you could simply order the cold udon noodles.
I also ordered tempura.
Green Bean Tempura -$2 and Vegetable Kakiage $5
Because it was so cheap, I was expected the bean tempura to have just a few small beans but instead there was about 10 green beans which were so big.
For the vegetable kakiage, which is made from onion, carrot, sweet potato and green beans – it was more than gigantic … It was so hard to use my chopsticks to lift.
Massive kakiage $5
I ended up eating too much tempura… damn.
My hubby ordered tempura don, which are filled with tempura. I have never seen such generous servings of tempura, especially not in Sydney. (I did not take a photo of this as it was not vegan – contained prawn)
Traditional tempura batters contain egg, but this shop doesn’t use egg for their batter, so dear vegan fans, it is ok. The owner was very honest and told me that the machine that they use to make noodles does handle egg noodles, so it is possible that it may contain some traces of egg noodle fragments. If you are worried, maybe better not to go, but if you are ok with possible egg noodle fragment please enjoy the cold noodle at this restuarant when you are next in Cairns!
I highly recommend this place – with authentic yummy Japanese meals at a reasonable price!
Address: Shop 9 Orchid Plaza, 58 Lake st, Cairns City QLD 4870
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