25 Jul Aoki Japanese Kitchen, Glen Waverley
Aoki Japanese Kitchen brings a bit of Japanese fusion to the foodie hub that Glen Waverley is slowly transforming into. Kazu Nomura was born and raised in Japan, and gained experience in various Japanese and French restaurants over more than 30 years, before eventually settling at Aoki.
We begin with some Japanese-inspired cocktails, before indulging in bowls of moreish chips topped with truffle shavings, and a bento box of small delights such as smokey unagi, grilled quail and cubes of fresh tuna.
It’s time for sushi and we particularly enjoy the Special Sushi Roll Combo assorted platter. The seafood is fresh, the rice is nicely seasoned, are there are touches of creativity with the inclusion of other ingredients like kiwi fruit in some of the pieces. The Salmon Cream Cheese Rolls topped with crunchy tempura bits, and the cooked Tempura Salmon Maki, are also popular around the table.
Truffle chawanmushi has pieces of carrot, zucchini, capsicum, egg, and chicken inside. The change in texture from the smooth egg to the other ingredients comes as a surprise.
Fried nibbles include the Kaki Fry – juicy deep-fried oysters paired with both miso and tartar sauce – and of course, fried chicken. Their Japanese KFC uses Bannockburn free-range chicken, and today we have a choice of truffle mayo and a very subtle wasabi mayo to dip our crisp and juicy karaage into.
Truffle honey porterhouse steak with wafu sauce is charred and tender. Blueberry duck on soba comes with a bonito broth that’s a mixture of saltiness and a touch of sweet. The slow cooked ox cheek with miso rendang sauce is rich in colour. The addition of miso is an intriguing one. Its flavour is not too apparent, but probably contributes to the depth of the sauce. It tastes more like another type of curry rather than rendang, but it’s still a rather tasty curry, and the ox cheek is melt-in-the-mouth in texture.
Aoki does an impressive dessert platter that may feature the likes of: Mango cake，raspberry cake，matcha red bean white choc mousse cake, yuzu cheesecake, earl grey tea creme brulee，caramelised banana cake, blueberry muffin，mango, raspberry and kiwi sorbet, churros and white chocolate matcha sauce. The highlight of the desserts for me was the Chiboust Sakura – a multi-layered dessert that includes green tea and yuzu, and a delightful brulee on top.
Located just off the busyness that is Kingsway, Aoki offers both traditional Japaneses dishes and a fresh take on the cuisine.
Disclaimer: I was invited to Aoki as a guest, however, opinions expressed here are purely my own, and are based on my experience at the time
Aoki Japanese Kitchen
52 Montclair Ave
Glen Waverley, VIC, 3150
(03) 9561 7442