14 Mar Akachochin, South Wharf
Akachochin has been on my radar for a while and I was so excited when I found out a friend had organised a celebratory dinner here. Because of the size of the group, the restaurant offered to put together a shared menu for us – one that was different to the regular banquet menu.
We started with a little dish of noodles in a light broth, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Though I knew it was a banquet, I wished there was more of it because I found it so refreshing.
The Hiramasa Namerou is one of Akachochin’s signatures and comprises of Kingfish tartare with wasabi stem and moromi miso. On the side were some perfectly crispy and amazingly thin rice crackers to go with it. Moromi miso is a thick and chunky variety of miso. The miso and wasabi produced a dish full of flavour.
Next came two of the many sushi rolls we were treated to that night. The spicy tuna maki roll was filled with chilli-mayo and tenkasu, and coated with sprinklings of sesame seeds. The salmon avocado inside-out sushi roll was coated with masago. I was impressed by the freshness of the ingredients, the packing of the rice and the ingredient to rice ratio.
Wagyu tataki was drizzled with citrus-chilli-miso sauce and topped with some deep-fried leek. This was one of my favourites from tonight’s banquet. The beef was rich and smooth to the tongue, as expected, and the tasty sauce went well with it too.
Next we were presented with a rather intriguing sushi roll. The ebi kyu maki was an inside-out sushi rolled filled with prawn, cucumber and avocado, then encrusted with crunchy buburare. I still can’t figure out what buburare actually is, but it added a very interesting textural element to the sushi and didn’t have too much of its own flavour, so didn’t distract from the filling.
Kani cream harumaki was a creamy spanner crab spring roll topped with okonomiyaki sauce. Okonomiyaki sauce is slightly thick, slightly sticky and slightly acidic, almost worcestershire sauce. It was piping hot and I only just managed to avoid burning my tongue, which was a relief. I didn’t want to have an impaired sense of taste for the rest of the banquet!
Following soon after the spring rolls was another interesting sushi roll. The unagi avocado maki was also an inside-out sushi roll but filled with eel and avocado, then wrapped in a thin slice of cucumber. I did think the volume of cucumber overwhelmed the eel, but it was an interesting concept and quite the looker.
Our last sushi roll of the night was the kaisen ‘sumo’ maki, which had three different types of fish, avocado and omelette.
We then moved on to the ‘mains’. The miso lamb shanks had a wonderful flavour and was nice and tender, though the meat was a bit gamey to be completely enjoyable.
The buta kakuni was pork braised in a spice-laden soy-based sauce with Japanese mustard. A few of the pieces were quite lean and a little dry, but it was pretty tasty.
Our banquet ended on a sweet-note with the sweet potato brulee. The topping of the brulee emitted an audible crack with pressure from the spoon. The texture of the custard was not completely smooth – perhaps a result of the sweet potato’s inherent texture?
Our dinner came out to just over $40 per person. I was impressed by the quality of most of the dishes we had tonight and was glad I had the opportunity to sample so many different dishes.
33 Dukes Walk
South Wharf, VIC, 3006
(03) 9245 9900