Food adventure @ Otsumami
Otsumami has been on my to-visit list since 2012, but given its location in Northcote and how little I frequent that side of Melbourne, it’s taken me quite a while to get around to visiting. The opportunity came up recently whilst deciding on a meet up venue with Dr M, who happens to be working practically around the corner. Huzzah!
Salmon Harumaki - salmon, cheese and nori spring rolls, served with wasabi mayo.
The spring roll wrapper sported much crunch, but it was quite tough and chewy in texture and lacked that delicate crispiness you look for in wrappers. The salmon itself was overcooked and the distribution of cheese was uneven. The bites with all elements, however, really highlighted how well the flavour combo worked. That hint of wasabi and sweet teriyaki sauce were particularly enjoyable.
Kani-age - soft shell crab marinated in soy, mirin, ginger & garlic, deep fried and served with chili mayo dipping sauce.
No complaints from either of us with the soft shell crab. The batter was crispy and delicate (unlike those spring rolls!) and also well seasoned without being overly salty. The flavouring from the creamy sweet chilli mayo accompaniment really rounded out the dish.
Sweet potato gyoza (left) and tori niku gyoza (right).
The combination of sweet potato in a gyoza was intriguing, so we decided to give our taste buds the chance to explore something different. Fortunately, it wasn’t all sweet thanks to the addition of chive, giving it a savoury sort of taste. The blend of sweet potato was silky smooth and just melted in the mouth. The wrappers for the chicken gyozas were quite wonton-like. The tender chicken filling was aromatically sweet, and further sweetened by its pairing with a tangy soy and chilli vinegarette sauce.
Hotate - scallops pan seared in soy, butter and balsamic, with bonito flakes.
The scallops were gorgeously cooked, translucent in its colouring. Its flavour profile was defined by the fishy bonito flakes, subtle wasabi presence and creamy potato mash. It was quite different to what I have encountered with other scallop dishes but oh so delicious.
I had been looking forward to Otsumami for quite some time, and the real deal did not disappoint. With only one negative in one of the dishes and big positives encountered with the rest, I would happily drive out of my way for a return visit at some point!
257 High St,
Northcote, Victoria, 3070.
(03) 9489 6132