iPhone imageI love those thin slices of coloured fish cakes you find in Japanese soups - they're called kamaboko and often have a dyed red edge, or a swirl of red through the middle which always reminds me of one of those old-fashioned rolled lollypops. Well, it seems I've digressed in my first sentence, because I'm not blogging about lollies or kamaboko specifically. I'm blogging about soup.
Kanamochi in Manly is possibly the best Japanese on the Northern Beaches. It isn't cheap, and its swank black decor dictates that it isn't exactly cheerful either. But it serves Japanese food that doesn't arrive to your table via conveyor belt or display fridge - which can be rare in a world of sushi trains and eat-me-now nori rolls.
If you don't fancy splashing out money for dinner, go for the lunch menu which is a cheaper version of the full menu. Order some gorgeous Tempura Udon noodles with, you guessed it, kamaboko (pictured floating in above bowl). The dashi broth is rich and every slurp feels like an shot of nutrients, the noodles spongy with bite, loads of shallot flavour, and the tempura is importantly served separately to remain crisp and light. It's Japanese soul food for a chilly day.