400 Bridge Road, Richmond, VIC
Phone (03) 9428 3918
Phone (03) 9428 3918
After a recent trip to Japan, I couldn't get enough Japanese food. When we got back, I was making it at home, every single night. I was making it at home, rather than going out to a restaurant, because I knew that whatever I made would be more authentic than most of the Japanese you could get in a lot of the restaurants around town. I also didn't want bad Japanese food to taint my amazing memories of the beautiful food we ate in Japan.
So, before venturing out to any Japanese restaurants, I did a lot of asking around to find out where I could find the most authentic, best quality Japanese fare in town. There were lots of suggestions, but one name kept popping up. Maedaya.
Like Japan, the staff are extremely polite and friendly, always serving us with a smile. The best bit is, that just like Japan, all the staff start yelling out welcomes in Japanese as soon as you walk in the front door.
The mixed grill we ordered firstly consisted of 5 different skewers, each with different sauces and toppings. Some really excellent tastes here. However, the main thing I noticed was that the grill didnt seem to be as hot as the Yakitori bars would use in Japan. So the skewers didn't really have that smokey / charcoal flavour that gives it that extra depth. Delicious all the same.
Next up was chicken meatballs on skewers, again with different flavoured toppings.
I didn't loves these meatballs. The toppings were all very interesting, but the meatballs themselves had an odd powdery texture, which I wasn't a fan of. They weren't horrible by any means, but I probably wouldn't order them again.
Unagi! That's Japanese for Eel, of course! One of my favourites from Japan. Coated in that kind of sweet Teriyaki style sauce - excellent!
Next we ordered the Gyoza. Everyone loves a good Gyoza. These little dumplings which have been steamed and then pan fried, so that they have a crispy and also chewy texture. The Gyoza were excellent, however could have done with some more seasoning in the filling itself. I think most places seem to rely on the Soy sauce that you will add yourself as a seasoning.
One of my best eating experiences in Japan was eating authentic Okonomiyaki in Hiroshima. Whilst this Okonomiyaki, was cooked in a different style, I was still pretty impressed. It looked more like the ones you see in the crappy Bain Maries in shopping centre food courts. However, the taste and texture wouldn't compare. It was fantastic. That Japanese mayonnaise always makes anything taste better, anyway!
Even though we were stuffed beyond belief by this point, we ordered a dessert each. Here is the Mochi Ice cream. Basically a ball of ice cream which has been wrapped in Mochi dough and frozen, with a strawberry sauce drizzled over the top. So good. So Japan! I'd never seen Mochi until I went to Japan and this is the first time I'd seen it in Australia. Admittedly, I hadn't been looking.
Lastly was our Green Tea pudding with Black Sesame Ice Cream. Despite the unattractive colours of both the pudding and ice cream, this dessert was my favourite dish of the night. The pudding had that slight green tea taste and wasn't too heavy or sickly sweet - even though it looked like it might be. The Black sesame ice cream was the perfect accompaniment.
While not many places outside of Japan would ever compare to the experiences you have when you are actually over there, I'd say that Maedaya is the closest I've had to an authentic Japanese restaurant experience here in Melbourne. I'm sure there are plenty more. What are your favourites??