We must have Japanese fever here at One Piece Left! Two Japanese restaurant reviews in a row, where the name nearly sounds the same… try and not get the two confused peeps. So on our search for weekday and budget friendly Japanese food, we came across Aoba. This restaurant had unusually high reviews for it’s genre, and we were a little skeptical to say the least. Before I talk about the food, here are some quick observations on Aoba.
1) The place is really small and only has one chef and one waiting staff
2) The restaurant smells like expelled oil, and you will end up smelling like that by the time you walk out
3) There are spelling mistakes everywhere on the menu. Words like ‘dineer’ and ‘dumpring’. I must admit… ‘dumpring’ made me chuckle, I was starting to think they were doing it on purpose!
So let’s talk a bit about the food. I got the Wafu porterhouse steak. The sauce was not overpowering as it allowed the beef to be the star of the show. No instructions were needed as the beef was cooked medium rare, the way a porterhouse should be cooked. The portion size was also really generous and it came with a bowl of rice. At $21 I’m not complaining! You know how hard it is to find a steak for $21 these days? I was very impressed with the quality to price ratio with this steak and Aoba in general.
Helen got the AOBA dinner set which consisted of 2pcs spring rolls, 2pcs pork dumplings, 3pcs agedashi tofu, 6pcs of sashimi, 1 main with miso soup and steamed rice. Not a bad deal indeed for $29! Everything from the starters was cooked fresh and very tasty. The tofu was crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. The salmon sashimi was a quality cut with plenty of fattiness.
Helen chose the chicken karaage with rice for her main. The batter was flavoured perfectly and the chicken was juicy and succulent. Along with the mayonnaise dipping sauce, it was a real highlight dish!
Some non sweetened Japanese green tea to wash down the oil from the chicken kaarage and we were some happy campers! But there’s always room for dessert, so we shared a green tea ice cream. It had the trademark green tea bitterness and it wasn’t too sweet at all. I’d like to give a quick shout out to the reviewer who said that the ice cream was too icy and hurt their teeth…. absolute CLASSIC! Thanks for making my day!
I think we may have found our perfect weekday Japanese restaurant. Who knows… we may even push the boundaries and come here on weekends too! All the food was what we hoped for and more, well deserving of their high praising reviews. Two thumbs up from us!
Approx $25 AUD per person
Address: 279 Glenferrie Rd, Malvern VIC 3144
Phone: +61 3 9509 3399