Friday, October 15, 2010

Yamato, Melbourne CBD by Big Fil

Sometimes there are places you know about for years but just never get around to trying. Yamato was like that for me. Located at the end of a lane and clearly visible from Little Bourke Street it was hardly invisible but never seemed to make it to the top of the list of new places to try. On a cold and rainy Friday it was finally time to pay it a visit.

The first thing, which is immediately noticeable, is the small size of the restaurant, closely followed by how cosy it is at the same time. Colourful, brightly lit and with a number of tables in a small space it still manages to feel uncluttered and welcoming. I wish other places could make such good use of such limited space.

Soon after arriving we received the complementary bowl of steaming miso soup. Slightly salty with pieces of tofu and seaweed, and much appreciated to help warm up from the outside weather.

Feeling hungry, I ordered a plate of dumplings for starters ... the fried Japanese gyoza with a pork and cabbage filling. Gyoza normally have a texture similar to fairly delicate Chinese pan fried dumplings. These were good, lightly fried and served with a citrusy sauce which added a slight tang to the dumplings.

I went with the katsu don for mains ... deep fried pork cutlets served with a mild curry sauce, these were good but not outstanding. The pork was slightly overcooked and the curry sauce wasn't particularly complex. Given the range of items on the menu I'm not sure I'd order these again but still, a tasty and filling lunch.

My companion for the day went with the lunch box, a bento box including teriyaki chicken, chuka wakame (seaweed), deep fried fish and shogayaki (ginger fried) beef. Again, a couple of issues, for example, the beef was a little dry. But I did like the texture of the seaweed very much, like firm little slithery green noodles. The fish was moist and slightly flaky, the chicken looked good (although I didn't get to try it and my companion wasn't that impressed). Given that the price was less than half that of Bento boxes at many places, and I thought it was good value for money.

Yamato is a comfortable place to eat quite good food at more than reasonable prices. Service was efficient and unobtrusive and staff did appear to care about the customer's experience. I'd be happy to return to help fill in some of the yawning gaps in my knowledge and understanding of Japanese food.

Food - 7
Ambience - 8
Service - 8
Price - 7.5

28 Corrs Lane
Melbourne VIC 3000
Telephone: (03) 9663 1706

Yamato Japanese on Urbanspoon


Bureaucrat said...

That entrance looks so dodgy - you're braver than I for wanting to go in that restaurant!

Anonymous said...

One must be prepared to take risks in the search for good food.

Chewy said...

I tried to get in this place on a late friday night a few weeks ago, but it was full. I love those curry katsu dons...I will definitely have to try soon

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