Yayoi has been a restaurant that has been in and out of my radar all year. I walk past it all the time in Galleries since it’s opened and I’ve looked at the menu so many times.
Finally, I got around to trying it on a chilly evening in the city after much contemplation. The little restaurant’s location is fantastic and easily accessible.
When we arrived there was quite a bit of a line, nevertheless we put our name down and took our ticket number and in less than 10 minutes we were called up. We definitely found that a table for two is much easier for waiting time rather than the bigger groups.
The menu has a nice selection of comforting Japanese foods both in individual forms or in sets, with the option to have extra add-ons or upgrades to the side dishes that accompany.
To start we got an Asahi and a green tea Umeshu (plum wine) to accompany our meals for the evening. Personally, I much prefer the green tea umeshu over beer as it’s light and refreshing and almost cleanses the palate between each mouthful.
|Miso Pork Loin Katsu Teishoku|
Although there were many favourites on the menu, the Miso Karaage was calling to me as the perfect comfort food without feeling overly heavy.
The pork was crisp and light which went well with the rich sauce that the chicken dish sat in.
The sauce gave the pork moisture and a little bit of differentiation with each bite, the kind of dish that really brings the balance between rice and main dish to life.
The accompanying side dishes such as pickles, miso, sashimi and chashumi to name a couple.
The accompaniments gave relief to the rich flavour of the pork miso whilst also allowing for a good intake of healthy vegetables.
|Unagi Hitsumabushi Teishoku|
Ever since our Japan travels, Lachlan always keeps an eye out for an eel dish when we go out for Japanese and Yayoi was no exception.
Their eel, or unagi, was generously sliced and sat atop a bed of rice. It was beautifully soft and had a subtle sweet smoky flavour.
As a set meal, the unagi was accompanied with pickles, tofu and other condiments to provide a variety of different flavour combinations to experiment with. Out of all the condiments, the pickles were the pick of the day as they provided a sour contrast to the sweet and smoky unagi.
And finally, the broth itself. It was arguably the best part of the dish as it had a rich, meat-like flavour profile which tied all the elements together beautifully. It’s comforting warmth bought back a flood of food memories from Japan.
Overall Yayoi was an authentic experience both in flavours, service and atmosphere. It’s quite nice to see the Japanese food scene retain its authenticity and flair even at fusion style restaurants.
The restaurant is great value for money and isn’t overly expensive or cheap. For the quality and quantity of food you’re given you’ll definitely go home satisfied.
Written by Jay Santiago (@eatventures_)