Thursday, May 31, 2012

Gaijin Japanese Fusion


A friend decided to host her birthday celebration at Gaijin Japanese Fusion. Being quite a tiny restaurant, our group ended up taking up most of the space, and generating more than our fair share of noise. Hopefully the other patrons weren't too offended, but apologies if you happened to be dining in the restaurant the same night that we were there.

After we were settled in, they served us pitchers with an odd green liquid. On closer inspection we realised that this concoction was made from powdered green tea and somewhat surprisingly, it was cold. I didn't like it. Sure it was refreshing, but it was a freezing night and warm tea would have been appreciated more (and probably would have tasted better too).

We weren't there for the drinks of course, we were there for the food. My friend had chosen a banquet to cater for the forty or so people, which was smart on her behalf. Could you imagine the kitchen trying to cope with that many orders. I shudder at the thought. So, how did the food fare?

The first few dishes to be served were two kinds of sashimi (tuna and salmon), gyoza, and a warm tofu dish.

Salmon Sashimi
Tuna Sashimi
The fish was fresh, so the sashimi was decent, although I fail to understand why the mayonnaise was a necessary addition.

Gyoza


Tofu
The gyoza skins were probably slightly too thick, and the tofu pieces too big, but I didn't have any big issues with the entrees. I would have preferred a serve of takoyaki though, just to see how good/bad they were. We were spoilt with some late-arriving soft-shelled crab though, but once again, the mayonnaise was an unnecessary addition.

Soft Shelled Crab

For the main course, we had sushi, sushi and some more sushi.

Various Sushi
The first few tasted amazing, with tender and salty unagi, freshly cooked prawns and soft, slightly chewy rice.
More Sushi
Baked Dynamite Roll (also known as Even More Sushi)
Soon though, all the dishes started tasting the same. I don't know if it was just sushi overdose or if they couldn't be bothered varying the seasonings, but I became bored with the food. I picked at the plates because I was hungry, but it didn't really satisfy me. Even the Baked Dynamite Roll with its promise of greatness failed to live up to expectations. What a shame! The service was fast and efficient though, an the atmosphere of the restaurant was relaxing (if a little small).

Their website suggests that they're opening a lunch bar in the city soon, which is probably a better idea for them. This would be a good destination for a snack, but I doubt you'd get a very diverse range of dishes if you decided to have a meal there. I guess I'm just not as big of a fan of sushi as I thought.

135 Commercial Road, South Yarra
Lunch: Sat-Sun 12pm-2pm
Dinner: Mon-Sun 6pm-10pm

Gaijin Japanese Fusion on Urbanspoon