Thursday, November 27, 2014


Shop 201 and 301
Midcity Arcade
200 Bourke Street
Melbourne VIC 3000

We were invited to eat at dinner at Wagaya by a group working to "support Japanese food culture in Australia by
reaching out to the non-Japanese Australian public" as long as I wrote about the experience.

The restaurant is situated over 2 floors at the Little Bourke Street end of the MidCity arcade in Chinatown, the basic mall fittings  give way to a big space with a fantastic fit out once you emerge into the third floor.

We explored a little at the end of the meal, finding the pass downstairs on the second floor.

There is also a nicely furnished balcony/roof top area....

...with views overlooking Chinatown.

We chose to be seated in a booth which were set for 4 or 6 people, with dark wooden tables and banquettes along with screening to give a strong sense of privacy.

We were given copies of the menu, but soon figured out how to work the touch screen ordering system, navigate through the pages and begin ordering!

We kicked off with a nice sized bowl of edamame, always a good way to start a feast.

Next to arrive was the yakitori, with plenty of pieces of varied cuts of chicken on the skewer with a glaze of tare (sweetened soy) sauce.

The teriyaki tofu were coated with a great sweet sticky sauce and inside the tender skin were meltingly soft. It was a challenge for our chopstick skills, but certainly worth the effort.

The homemade gyoza looked great with their golden markings on the thin skin. The better half rated them as some of the best she had tried.

The prawn tempura were huge, inside the light crispy batter the crustacean was perfectly cooked.

We paused and then made a few more orders at this stage, it was great being able to use the flat screen to order at our own pace!

The first part of round two were the three spider sushi rolls, the soft shell crab looked like it was trying to emerge from the rice. These were another challenge to our dexterity, but well worth the effort, with the avocado complimenting the crab perfectly.

The chicken meatballs were firm yet moist and the spicy cod roe and mayo worked surprisingly well with them.

Our final dish was the scallops and garlic fried rice, the bursts of flavour from the pieces of shellfish light up the simple but well executed offering which was presented in a sizzling hot bowl.

We never had to wait long for our dishes to be presented and the staff were friendly. Our bill including a draught Asahi came to around $70 which was covered for us. We were impressed and would come back again, maybe at the weekend when the lowere level is also opened up, and we might get to spend some time outside too!

I've also been requested to include a link to this youtube video about the restaurant group.

Wagaya Japanese Restaurant Melbourne on Urbanspoon

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