Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Kenji, Camberwell by Bureaucrat

For taking on a personal sacrifice for her, Beaker recompensed the Lawyer and I with dinner at Kenji.  Located in a small shopping mall, Kenji looks like your typical suburban eatery. The entrance is a bit cramped and higgledy piggledy with tables, chairs and stuff stacked along the walls.

Californian deluxe sushi

The main seating area is bigger but it’s squished with lots of tables, which means you have to tip toe and squeeze your way around to get to your table. Although we got there before 6.30pm, by 7pm the place was packed with families and lots of people getting their sushi fix.

Looking at the menu, the dishes looked reasonably priced. As we all ended up ordering bento boxes, we all got a serve of miso soup.

Bubba Chuck also got a small strawberry milk shake, and the Lawyer, who was channelling his inner child, got a large green tea shake. It was cheap (by memory it was about $2.50 for the large) and looked, and tasted, like them soft serve ice cream that you get from fast food chains. As always, Bubba Chuck never trusts me enough to take a photo of her food without her letting go of said food.

The Lawyer and I both went for the special bento box. An absolute steal at $11.50. Everything about it was just perfect. Fresh salad, squeakily plump edamame and lots of rice (a plus for those with big appetites). I loved how all the fried stuff had a lovely golden brown colour, not greasy and had a thin batter. The karaage chicken was a nice chunk of seasoned chicken thigh meat, the gyoza was delicate (and I would have easily eaten a whole plate of ‘em). Both the crumbed prawn and calamari were fresh, fairly big in size and not overcooked. It’s quite a big bento, I struggled to finish all the good bits and had to (reluctantly) share some of my bento with the Lawyer.

Beaker and Bubba Chuck both got the sushi bento box ($16.50). It has all the same stuff as the special bento but instead of rice, you get a range of sushi. As they had ordered this before, they knew it was good. Both Beaker and Bubba Chuck made good effort in eating most of their bentos.

As Kenji is renowned for its sushi, we made sure to order some. I quite liked the Californian deluxe sushi ($6.80) (see first pic). It’s filled with prawn, mayo, Kewpie avo, topped with flying fish roe and served with pickled ginger. It’s delicate with a pleasing rice-to-filling ratio.

We also got the gourmet sushi set as a main ($24). This was a bit more pricey but you get more seafood. While I can throw back oysters au naturel with abandon and I lurve a nice Wagyu carpaccio served with raw/poached egg yolk, I am wimp when it comes to other forms of raw stuff. Although I had one or two of these, I’m not really the best person to comment on how nice they were.

Food – 7.5
Service – 7
Ambience – 7
Price – 8

The vibe inside is family style dining. It’s cosy, there’s lots of kiddies and lots of good home cooking. It’s wise to book ahead if you can. Otherwise, there’s always getting the food as takeaway. I'd rate it as an above average suburban eatery.

Kenji is obviously popular with members of the Hawthorn football club - the entrance has a wall that’s dedicated to photos of the footballers having their meals at Kenji.

Shop 10, 1405 Toorak Road
Camberwell 3124
Telephone: 9889 1084


obelix glutt said...

Yum! I just posted about kenji too!

Bureaucrat said...

Sounds good - what's the link to your review?

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