On Friday night we headed out to the Steamscape exhibition opening at the Post Industrial Design studios in West Footscray. Wow, what an amazing and magical evening that was! So many talented artists and the costumes were mind-blowing!
Adrian had been doing a little investigating on Japanese restaurants in the area and found Ebi Fine Foods, seeing as it was just around the corner from the gallery we had a little peek in the window on our way home. The little restaurant was full to the brim of people waiting for their take-away orders and the few tables were full of diners so we assumed it would definitely be worth the visit and planned to go on Saturday night.
Saturday was lovely and rainy so the thought of a cosy Japanese meal was just too exciting. As soon as we walked in we were greeted by the lovely chefs who offered us a table and a complimentary cup of green tea each.
We browsed the menu and specials board and I was getting the feeling this small restaurant with a fish ‘n chip shop exterior was not at all as it seemed. The staff were all so wonderfully approachable and were more than happy to guide me around the menu to avoid the dishes containing egg yolk. The chefs here are not scared to put their own twist on some old favourites and it was looking like we were in for a real treat.
To start with we ordered the edamame with chilli and garlic. Wow, I’m a big fan of edamame but after having this I don’t think I can go back to having it plain. The balance of flavours was perfect and it was fantastically messy to eat, luckily it was thoughtfully served with a much needed fingerbowl. I must note the serving was quite generous which was also a bonus.
Next up came our prawn gyoza. Adrian had it right when he commented he’d never had gyoza with such a satisfying crunch. They were quite large though I just couldn’t get over how light and fresh the filling was. The prawn flavour was delightful and paired with the soy dipping sauce I can honestly say these were my favourite prawn gyoza I’ve ever had.
Now time for mains, I chose the salted salmon bento with mustard miso and Adrian chose the pork belly bento with braised daikon and egg. The way the meals were served made me so happy, I’m such a sucker for the box bento’s come in and this was by far my favourite. It was elegantly served with a lid which gave us the chance to open them ourselves and be treated by the wonderful aromas from inside.
I can not apologise enough that the photo quality of my bento is really blurry and too crap to post, stupid phone fail unfortunately.
This was the first time I have actually been given the choice of having my salmon cooked well or a little pink. I appreciated this so much as I LOVE my salmon and this one was flipping perfect. The skin was crispy and nicely salty and the meat itself was so tender and tasty. The mustard miso was so special and I’d never had that combination before. The other components within the bento were all so wonderful and consisted of:
1) a salad consisting of very lightly pickled onions and carrots, loads of fresh salad leaves, cucumber all topped with a few pieces of crunchy fried lotus chips
2) boiled rice sprinkled with sesame seeds, nori and dried egg yolk (I couldn’t eat this and the chef was very apologetic he had forgotten to omit it from my meal, though I was so happy with everything I was happy enough to just not eat it)
3) a little portion of nasu dengaku (miso glased eggplant)
4) a piece of sweet tofu
5) a selection of pickled vegetables
Adrian was very happy with his pork belly bento. Although I’m not a meat eater, the pork looked just lovely and had clearly been slow cooked to perfection as it fell apart as Adrian bit in to it. Apparently it was really delicious, a combination of sweet and savoury flavours which was cut nicely with some fresh pieces of ginger.
Although we were quite full by this stage we couldn’t resist getting a dessert to take away to eat at home while watching our Batman: The Dark Knight DVD.
We ordered the black sesame pannacotta and a piece of fudge. It was so gorgeous that even in its take-away container, the pannacotta was presented beautifully. I love the flavour of black sesame in desserts and this was an outstanding dish. It was served with a nut studded chocolate coated biscuit stick and some nut brittle which were both very pleasing with the creamy pannacotta. A very special dessert indeed.
The fudge was very rich and very yum. We had small bites of it and it lasted the whole movie.
The bill came to only $49 which was such fantastic value for a generously portioned, inventive and delicious dinner.