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Given how much I had enjoyed my meal at Akachochin late last year, which saw the restaurant land in my top 10 dining experiences for 2012, I decided to take my mum for lunch on Mother’s Day. Plus, with South Wharf Shopping Centre situated right next door, we were able to squeeze in a shopping trip afterwards. All for mum of course…
We kicked off the meal with a familiar dish…
Hiramasa Namerou, with rice crackers (Japanese style tartar) - chopped kingfish, with spring onion, moromiso, kizami wasabi, and olive oil.
It may have looked identical to the dish we had eaten during my previous visit with J.ma, BUT it was a completely different story when it came down to taste. A perfect balance between the wasabi and kingfish was previously achieved, but the wasabi presence was too overpowering this time around. The sharp, burning taste masked the tenderness of the kingfish, and for most bites, the effects had me pinching my nose tight. I tried upping the amount of rice cracker used, but ultimately had to throw in the towel when the burning sensations continued.
Chicken wing dumpling - 2 chicken wings, stuffed with chicken mince.
The stuffed chicken wings sounded sensational on paper but the real deal was a tad disappointing. The skin lacked crispiness and as a result, the skin blended in with the mooshy chicken filling. Additionally, the filling tasted somewhat bland. It was at this point that my mum started to question my taste in food… I guess I may have hyped it up too much for her.
Sensai agedashi tofu - deep fried soy milk egg tofu, with Japanese wild mountain vegetables.
Finally there came a dish that we could both enjoy and appreciate. Think agedashi tofu, but with an added side of tender veggies. The veggies, particularly the enoki mushrooms, brought an earthy flavour to the dish that enhanced the ‘sweetness’ of the silky tofu. With a side of steaming hot rice to soak up the rich flavours from the sauce, you can’t really go wrong with this dish.
Sweet potato brulee.
We started the meal with a familiar dish and finished with another - the sweet potato brulee. Unlike the entree however, my second encounter with the dessert was just as tasty as I had remembered. Even mum enjoyed it! The custard was gorgeously light and smooth, and the sweet potato flavour remained as distinct. The bitter sweetness from the brulee layer balanced perfectly with the sweeter custard.
Our dining experience didn’t go as smoothly as my first visit, with some misses included along the way, but I suspect the success of that delectable sweet potato brulee will bring me back to Akachochin again for a third visit some day.
33 Dukes Walk,
South Wharf, Victoria, 3006.
(03) 9245 9900