We were put on waiting list for this very popular Japanese restaurant that only serves dinner omakase, and were delighted when we received a call the day before that there was a table available at 7.30pm! We were so excited and decided to give up having dinner at the Queen Victoria Winter Night Market.
It was an easy tram ride to Richmond, and though we arrived 30 minutes ahead of time, we were ushered to our table to rest in the warmth of the restaurant.
There were some specials available today, but we decided to just stick to the standard omakase meal of A$150.
The dinner started out with 4 entrees, which included:
- Chilled tofu with pickles and crumbs: The tofu was very refreshing, and works like a palette cleanser!
- Yam and potato dumpling with scallop, in clear shiitake soup, topped with enoki mushroom: The grilled enoki mushroom was nicely grilled, and the scallops pieces were fresh and sweet. The dumpling was not bad.
- Trout topped with grated yam and okura with clear soup made from snapper: The fish was sweet and tender, and I love all things gooey, haha! The soup was a lovely balance of sweet and saltiness.
- Grilled beef tongue and cheek: The beef tongue was very chewy, while the cheek was tender and fatty. There was no real need to use the condiments by the side. The spice powder was too spicy for all of us.
There was a palate cleanser sorbet, and the toasted rice with lemon-lime flavour was truly refreshing.
This was followed by 9 pieces of sushi as the main course (in 3 plates of 3 sushi).
We each had different pieces of sushi with too much wasabi, so those that I indicated too much wasabi was based on what I had.
- King George Whiting: There was a nice sesame fragrant to it. The perilla leaves was a bit too overpowering.
- Dory: The thick slab of dory was quite sweet, some bits were difficult to chew through. The grated ginger provided a nice aroma to complement the fish.
- Blue Eye: There was so much yuzu topping that we could barely taste the fish.
- Scampi: The scampi was sweet, and the citrous toppings gave it an interesting twist. My wasabi was too concentrated at 1 spot, so there was a bit of a shock when I bit into it.
- Scallop: Lightly torched, this was fresh and sweet, but again, there was too much wasabi.
- Engawa: This was the best of all sushi. Lightly torched, it was a lovely fatty fish without too much wasabi.
- Blue fin tuna belly: A yummy fatty piece of belly.
- Aburi tuna belly: It was abit too overcooked.
- Anago: There was a rather strange sweet glaze, which again, was too much.
This was followed by a Winter Vegetable Soup, which was turnip and chicken meatball with kelp and bonito clear soup. Soup was sweet, and the meatball was flavourful.
For dessert, it was Mochi with Red Bean Fillings, which the rest said were quite nice. The 4-leaf clover was so pretty! We were also served green tea.
Towards the end, we had asked if it was possible to change the dessert for me, as we had observed that the other tables were having mochi, and I disliked mochi.
Initially the staff had explained that they only have mochi, or a special dessert at an additional price. I declined as I was not a huge fan of dessert and was prepared to skip it. In the end, to my surprise, I was served Yogurt Ice Cream, which was so delicious!! I was also very touched that they went the extra mile.
Overall, food seemed abit too fusion for us, and there were some hits and misses. We liked the sequence of the food served, with sushi being served in groups of 3s. We definitely preferred sushi with less sauce, for we would rather enjoy the natural sweetness of the fish. Of course, we were probably spoilt by the chefs from our favourite sushi restaurant already… Haha.
Service was excellent, and they took note of our food allergies right at the beginning, as well as any food that we did not eat (my own fault that I always forget to mention that I do not like mochi). The staff would take time to explain each item, and they were prompt in refilling our water (both warm and cold).
The restaurant had rather dimmed lighting for the table seats, which made it rather difficult to see what we were eating at times. Do try to make reservations way in advance for the counter seats. It would have been a pleasure to watch the chefs in action.
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