Discover the authentic Japanese restaurant on Hunter St
Listen in Japanese cuisine enthusiasts because this joint on Newcastle’s Hunter Street is here to blow your mind when it comes to authentic Japanese eats.
Introducing Menya Makoto – the newest addition to the Japanese restaurant scene and brought to you by the ever-so-wholesome and delightful personality that is Yuki Doi.
Originally hailing from Osaka, Yuki originally came to Australia back in 2015 on a tourist working holiday visa. Landing herself in the middle of a potato farm is where she met her now husband before the pair finally moved to Newcastle five years ago.
Having worked in the hospitality industry for years and finessing her own at-home cooking, an opportunity came up to take over this space on Hunter Street and before long, Menya Makoto was born.
“My husband and I both really love ramen. I’ve been cooking ramen at home, and I had been working at restaurants around Newcastle. We both love food and cooking and we thought, why not just give this a try?”
Having opened its doors earlier this year back in July, Menya Makoto has been somewhat of a hidden gem up until recently and will no doubt now be jammed with keen ramen lovers flocking to taste their authentic Japanese cuisine.
“We cook authentic Japanese food. I use my family recipe for the Karaage. Since I’ve been working in Japanese restaurants for many years, I’m pulling on that experience.”
A standout point for this cosy little space in Newcastle’s CBD is Yuki’s dedication to making the ramen broth.
“I cook the broth on site which doesn’t happen often for ramen. It’s hard work to make the broth as it takes me two days to make it in here. It is a lot of work, but it makes such a difference to the flavour.”
Unsurprisingly, the venue’s ramen dishes have been the signature favourites since their opening. Featuring a selection of ramen options including Vegetarian Miso, Tonkotsu, Bonito Tonkotsu, Spicy Tonkotsu, Black Garlic Tonkotsu, Yuzu Hiyashi, and the Tonkotsu with Pork Rib.
“Our ramen is definitely our signature. We also have sashimi, Karaage chicken, Japanese curry, and many ramen options on the menu.”
As Yuki mentions, the menu expands into a great selection of Japanese favourites, all of which are family recipes of Yuki’s and some even recreation of her childhood favourites.
“Because I have grown up on Japanese food, I know what is good and what isn’t, so when it comes to curry, I’ve always loved the curry that we were served in school.
“I have tried to replicate the same curry that we had growing up with lots of sweetness, potatoes, and vegetables. I absolutely loved that curry from school, so that’s another reason why our food is so authentic as well.”
The name Menya Makoto can be broken down into two words. Menya means noodle shop, and Makoto, is a reference to her mother’s name.
“My mum is such a powerful lady and I wanted to share this with her. I’ve sent her lots of photos.”
In addition to the menu brimming with greatness and the authentic touches of Japanese culture not only in the food but throughout the venue itself, Yuki is also playing host to students across Newcastle wanting to practice their Japanese.
“Japanese language classes are coming in to practice Japanese so we will do that with them and let them order in Japanese.”
Whether you’re on the lookout for another great authentic Japanese restaurant in town, can’t help but taste all the best ramen available in Newcastle, or are keen to sample a new spot, drop by Menya Makoto on Hunter Street.