This is as close as you can get to eating in the heart of Japan. Dining with MC, who has been to Japan on more occasions than one, he did mention this was pretty close to the real deal. I honestly had no idea what to except coming here, so I came in with an open mind and empty stomach.
I am always on the hunt for new neighbourhood gems, and think I may have just found my new favourite Japanese restaurant. This small, quaint space leaves much to the imagination as you enter the restaurant. You are welcomed by a large bar and the main take away area (which seems to be quite popular). Once greeted, you are taken around the back area to the small dining space with a hand full of tables.
The first thing that caught my eye was the oversized lantern tree hanging over the tables in the centre of the restaurant. Japanese artwork was both painted on the brick walls as well as hung pictures to stay true to their heritage. The space is cosy and intimate, with an overall welcoming vibe. It even has a ‘reflecting pond’ out back with a projector showing a pond with a koi fish swimming around.
The menu is based around all shared foods, which I am always excited by. We ended up starting with the ‘Edamame’, a traditional starter in most Japanese restaurants, which are steamed soybeans, salted and served warm.
Our two entrees to start were the ‘Gyoza Dumplings’ which were deep fried pork and vegetarian dumplings and the ‘Wagyu Beef Sashimi’ which was 500 days grain fed beef, served with asparagus sauce. All I can say is AMAZING! Both dishes were tasty and full of flavour, I couldn’t wait to see what else was to come.
Once we finished our amazing entrees, mains were quick to follow. We went with individual dishes, however by the end, we were all sharing as it was all so amazing. I ordered the ‘Black Pepper Teriyaki Chicken’ served with rice and green beans. The chicken was incredibly tender with the slightest hint of black pepper to finish the dish off.
MC really wanted to see how authentic this restaurant could be and went with their homemade chicken Ramen noodle. Knowing what to expect from his travels to Japan, he had some pretty high expectations. Presentation was beautiful and was packed with some seriously amazing flavours. Definitely worth trying on a cold Melbourne day!
The staff here are incredibly friendly and are there to ensure everyone has a great time and leaves satisfied. Their wine list isn’t overly extensive so when asking the waitress to make a recommendation on what she thought would be nice with our meal and she was spot on.
Food and drinks were delivered in a timely manner and the overall experience was fantastic. I will definitely be back and have already recommended most of our friends to check out this neighbourhood gem.