Every time the TRIBE goes to Sunnybank for our usual Asian food fix lately, I often notice this newly opened Japanese Eatery, with it’s TV monitors featured wall on the side. So intrigue that I dragged the TRIBE one weekday night, to check it out instead of going straight to Little Hongkong. The food that they served were displayed in front of the shop, mind you it was not those plastic models…they were plated real food with name tags and prices. You have to select your dishes and drinks, right there and then..and pay for it before you can get to sit on your assigned table. Cusinera felt a bit pressured and just pointed out left and right on the menu displayed on the counter without thinking. Before I know it, the bill came to around AUD$80+, a bit pricey on a small eatery. I was so rushed and disoriented that I even forgot to ask for my receipt, they didn’t offer to give me one anyway. It was not a busy night, I felt that they were just eager for us to pay and sit down for the meals.
I ordered the Eel Bento, the fish was well flavoured and the Miso Soup was excellent with its usual bits of floating soft tofu, seaweed sheets strips and shallots. The salad mix was weird with pieces of kiwi fruit?, the wok tossed greens taste like it was oily blanched, potato salad was a bit dry from exposure? and finally the sweetly~ watery preserved pears (maybe pears?) doesn’t work with me.
Mr. H ordered the Pork Katsu Bento, what he ate was the crumbed pork and rice. He tasted the curry sauce that went with it and told me that it was not bad at all, but in my opinion that was the lumpiest Japanese curry sauce I have ever seen. He didn’t attempt to touch the other side dishes.
With Ms. Picky Eater, I was surprised that she chose the Crumbed Fish Bento as she tends to favour pork or chicken. Like her father, she only ate the main meal part and not the side dishes.
Mr. Adventurous ate some of my eel and rice. But before we can finish our mains, one of the attendants gave us our desserts. The table was not big enough for the extra plates plus the bento trays… It was off putting, I mean there wasn’t a long line of people waiting for a table. I have worked in the hospitality industry both kitchen and front of house, and as a attendant or a cook or a chef you suppose to time the meals delivery! The TRIBE don’t eat snail pace, we don’t linger when we dine out, we order, eat, pay and off we go. I can see Mr. H getting hot under the collar just a tad bit, and me the guilty person who drag them to this place… whispered to him, “Maybe because it is a newly opened shop, maybe this is one of their teething problems.”
It looks good doesn’t it? But the quality of the presentation failed with that chip on the left top corner of the plate. I don’t know it they missed the chip when they arranged out the dessert, But to me, if you care enough for the artsy fartsy presentation, you should have unblemished plates to serve it on. The banana cake was like a mousse with a hint of banana. What we liked was the green tea ice cream with the red bean topping, it was good. I think if they serve the green tea ice cream with the red bean topping alone, I would be happy with that as a dessert. Ms. Picky Eater munched on the Almond curled creation, I ate a piece of it and it was like a normal almond wafer biscuit, a bit chewy I must add.
With the Tiramisu, it was another mousse kind of dessert with a crumbed compacted based. Ms. Picky Eater ate all of the Tiramisu and I only had about 2 small spoonfuls, the flavour was weak and not the normal Tiramisu I know. Mr. Adventurous point blankly refuse to eat the mousse like desserts and only allowed me to fed him the ice cream and the curled chocolate strips.
Now let’s get to the macarons, the main reason why I’ve insisted the TRIBE to eat here was for me to taste the macarons that was included in the desserts. I was so excited, but my excitement collapsed when I took a bite out of the pink macaron. The filling was just some sticky chocolate paste and the macaron itself was like a dry out old baked meringue. The rest of the TRIBE didn’t even try to eat the rest of the macarons, that’s how undesirable they were, I was so disappointed!
This tea drink was flavourless, it was so diluted with water that we can hardly taste the flavour.
It took a while for me to figure it out how to open this Japanese Lychee flavoured bottled water (cork, twist cap, bottle cap and canned version I can open with ease but a bottle with a marble on top?). I’ve even asked a couple of the attendants and most of them were clueless. For people who doesn’t know, you take off the protective plastic film, you turn the spout cap upside down and press firmly for the glass marble to drop halfway inside the neck of the bottle. The bottle concept I really like, but the taste was like you’re drinking the water that rinsed the jug where you kept your lychee juice.
TRIBE’S FOODIE VIEW: The customer service was good except the mains/dessert incident. The decor was very chic and modern. Would we go back? I would prefer to go to Hanaichi for my takeaway Japanese fix and Sumo City on the Broadway On the Mall for bentos. If they serve the Green Tea ice cream with the Red Bean Topping as a dessert, we would go just for that, as sadly that was the only highlight from our entire dinner. This was the only time were the TRIBE was hungry when we arrived home after eating out. I don’t know if I can convince Mr. H to try this shop again =(