Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Yokoyama, Doncaster by Obelix

A girls' night out sans children is a rare and wonderous event and to properly mark the occasion, M, P and I decided to treat ourselves to some fine dining for us fine ladies.  M and P chose Yokoyama as being locals, they have dined there before and loved it for its authentic Japanese fare.  At the risk of sounding like "ladies who lunch", we all had some form of dietary preference or another e.g. lo-carb, pescatarian, etc, so going Japanese made sense.

Yokoyama is unassuming to look at decor-wise.  By that I mean the appearance of the establishment is in no way correlated to the quality of the food and the price tag.  We sat down to a welcoming chorus from waitress in kimonos and got to studiously studying the menu and listening to the waitress outline the specials.  Being a Japanese restaurant which prided itself on it's fresh seafood, think sashimi and sushi, the service staff steered us towards the spoken menu of specials rather than ordering off the printed menu. This makes for a delightfully fresh seafood experience however writing up about it is slightly more difficult as I can't recall what types of sashimi I ate...

Yokoyama, sashimi
M took charge of most of the ordering.  All of our dishes were to share.  We started with a platter of sashimi which I overheard M requesting for some of the sashimi specials to be incorporated within.  The fish were fresh and firm with good selection of texture and mouth feel.  To be honest I don't recall what types of fish were featured in the platter and nor is my palate for raw fish that refined to differential the types bar the very obvious, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

Yokoyama, sashimi
Along with the sashimi platter, we also had a few pieces of one specials.  I'm not 100% certain but I suspect this was the gardner sashimi.  Well at least that's what I thought the waitress said!

Yokoyama, tuna rolls
We also enjoyed individual handrolls of spicy raw tuna.  This was truly A grade, that is, this is not your food court sushi handroll.  The nori was toasted crisp and the interior was generously fish rather than rice.

Yokoyama, grilled black cod
We moved on to what I would deem as the star of the evening.  This was the grilled black cod marinated overnight with miso served with wilted spinach.  This was listed as one of the chef's specials.  The photo does not do justice to this amazing piece of fish or the descriptor.  It was a full bodied and creamy piece of fish.  I expected it to be dry yet it was remarkably silky and moist.  P and I emitted an involuntary sigh with our first mouthful.  The wilted spinach looked a bit sad in its little ramekin on the side but it was a delightful umami hit.  I wished there was more of it!

Yokoyama, rice cakes
One of the specials for the evening were these fried rice cakes.  Made of glutinous rice, these were crispy fried with thin julienne of seaweed, bonito flakes and fresh spring onion for contrast. These were fun to eat as they tended to glue one's jaw closed with its clagginess but in a good way!  It ensued plenty of giggles as we attempted to chat and chew this at the same time.

Yokoyama, strip loin, lotus root
Last of the mains to share was the strip loin with asparagus and lotus root.  I left that to M and P as I have been steering clear of red meat of late.  I nibbled a bit of the underlying bed of asparagus and enjoyed that.

Yokoyama, Japanese desserts
Dessert was very similar to the entrees and mains in the sense that Yokoyama was quite flexible in going off the written menu and concocting a platter filled with a blend of specials and regular items.  I decided to sit out dessert but M and P enjoyed their platter comprised of little petit fours of what they expressed they wanted to try.  They had wee little glutinous rice cakes akin to mochis.  A black sesame pudding with fruit; matcha and black sesame ice cream and a pomegranate artfully carved up.

Yokoyama, sake
We were frequently plied with drinks.  Our green tea cups were kept filled and the sake kept flowing.  There was quite a discussion at the start of the evening on the different types of sakes on offer e.g., did we want a sweet one? or a standard one?  It was quite an involved process which I left M and P to decide as they were more of a sake connoisseur compared to I.  Our sake bottle was kept hot and it was a warming drink to have to stave off the wintery weather outside.


We loved it
We loved it.


Service was attentive and much care was taken to describe the lengthy specials.  The food service was a tad slow but having said that, we were given plenty of time to chat and catch up.  The dinner came up to approximately $85 per person.

Find it at

83 Renshaw Street
Doncaster Vic 3109
Phone: 9848 7778

Yokoyama's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

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