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Nishikian is situated in a previously operated petrol station and now it has been converted into a spacious Japanese restaurant. Located in Forest Hill on Springvale Rd, it’s serves authentic Japanese food for Lunch and Dinner. Their menu has a small selection of rice and noodle dishes, but their main attraction for dinner is their tapas menu including fish, sushi and tempura.

There’s a lot to like about Nishikian, their Shoyu Ramen which is a Soy Sauce soup base, is very clean tasting and yet packed of flavour. The Japanese style eggs is a rare occurrence, but here you receive the oozy yolk inside with the hard boiled white. It’s one of life’s greatest food treats, slightly running yolk and hard boiled and pretty much served at any ramen shop in Japan.

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Nishikian’s Chicken Teriyaki Don isn’t how I usually find it, here it’s served crispy with a teriyaki marinade and Miso soup. Interesting choice, but I do prefer the grilled style Teriyaki.

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If you’re undecided, during lunch hours you can select the Nishiki Lunch Box, where you can choose from a selection of menu items and served with rice. It’s a great way to try a bit of a few different things. Their Potato Croquette is quite tasty, moist inside and nice and crispy. The Takoyaki wasn’t slightly crispy outside as that’s how I like it, but I found a couple of places in Tokyo that served it slightly soft. The beef I found actually was on the dry side, it needed a lot more sauce, and less cooking time as the beef cuts were very thin.

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The Beef Udon has a very subtle flavour but again, clean tasting and fresh. Two for two with their noodle dishes.

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Nishikian’s Mochi Potato Croquette is similar to the normal Potato Croquette and it’s everything you’d want in a croquette. Delicious, smooth potato inside and a beautiful crunchy coating.

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The Ebi Mayo Nigiri is another great dish, fresh and you can never have too much of Togarashi powder on the side.

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Lastly, the Tonkotsu Ramen (Pork Bone Broth) is very reminiscent of my travels in Japan. It has the taste of being rich of cream but yet there is none in a Tonkotsu. Delicious.

Impressions

While there are a couple of authentic Japanese places around these parts of town, Nishikian comes up top in terms of flavour and value. Their noodle dishes have all been winners in my book and I’d go straight back to those on my next visit.

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Nishikian
425 Springvale Road
Forest Hill & Vermont VIC
T: 03 9877 4999

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Irodori House on Station Street, Box Hill serves Japanese style cuisine with an a la carte menu as well as set lunch boxes. The food here is surprisingly decent hidden in an area with a wealth of Chinese eateries.  What I like about Irodori House is the flavours of their dishes.

Their Beef Sukiyaki has tender beef with a pleasant tasting light ginger taste. I’m not a big fan of ginger (although I love gingerbread) but here all the ingredients make for a pretty tasty dish.

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Japanese Egg Custard’s are some of the good things in life. A savoury custard that is so silky smooth, with just enough saltiness to bring out the egg flavour and served warm.

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Their tapas menu has an array of choices, Irodori’s Crumbed Fish with the mayonnaise had a good balance of crispiness and still moist on the inside. It goes really well with the mayonnaise served with it as it need a dipping sauce of sorts to complement the slight dryness of a fried fish.

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The Oyako Don comes with salad, miso soup and two sides. The Oyako Don wasn’t particularly memorable but the chicken was tender but lacking in a bit of flavour.

Impressions

Overall, I found Irodori House to excel in most of their dishes and it’s the reason why I would return. It may not be the most authentic Japanese restaurant or the most amazing dishes but it still provides a tasty meal and that’s all I would want.

Irodori House on Urbanspoon

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Gyoza King on Robson Street, Vancouver is a fantastic Japanese restaurant that we stumbled upon on our way to Stanley Park. During lunchtime their menu is varied and appetising. Noodles, rice dishes and of course Gyoza make up its lunch menu. While their dinner menu leans towards the pricer end of things but so very satisfying and delicious.

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Gyoza King’s Ramen is simply divine for a cold Vancouver day. The soup is flavourful, but it doesn’t leave you feeling thirsty like some other Japanese restaurants. The noodles were cooked well, not too soft and not too hard. All it needed was a bit of Togarashi and it was perfect. The stock they use was just so tasty. Really great Ramen here.
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We also ordered the Beef Sukiyaki which was another great dish. Slightly sweet from the onions and the sauce, the beef cooked to perfection. I always hate that chewy, tough beef but here it just melts. The sesame seeds add a bit of crunch and texture and is something I’ve often not found in this dish. What it lacks though is enough sauce, because it was just so good. A bit sweet, salty but simply delicious.

 

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Gyoza King’s Oyako Don is another treat. The onions, egg and chicken just complement each other extremely well. The seaweed on top isn’t just there for looks, it adds that slightly bitterness and roast to the rice. The chicken was marinated well. Sometimes you’ll find with Oyako Don, the chicken is very bland, lacking in anything good and most commonly overcooked and dry. Here it is still moist and that is definitely most welcome. Of course I had to add the Togarashi but it really could do without it too.

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You can’t not go to Gyoza King and not try their Gyoza. While these Japanese dumplings are small, it does pack full of flavour it its filling. The pork and cabbage, with the ginger and chives are in a perfect proportion. Giving it a bit more life is the soya sauce that provides the saltiness. The Gyoza are crisp and not too oily. Absolutely satisfying.

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The salad and miso soup comes complementary with some lunch dishes. The dressing they add on the salad is quite interesting. It’s not the usual sesame dressing I’ve had in other restaurants, but it still has a roasted flavour to it. It felt more rich, like mayonnaise.

The miso soup is quite standard though, I don’t think you can go wrong with miso soup anyway.

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Because Gyoza King was so good, we also had to try going there for dinner. We ordered their grilled fish and it was absolutely stunning. My gosh, the fish was so fresh and also extremely moist. It just melts so effortlessly in your mouth. The grilled flavour just seems ever so gently through the flesh. Adding a sprinkling of lemon adds an acidity that complements the subtle saltiness of the charred skin. I really couldn’t have asked for a better grilled fish.

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As we were having a lighter dinner, we shared another order of Gyoza. Again, these little bite sized dumplings are juicy and flavourful. Really great, I definitely recommend it.

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Their crispy chicken is another delight. Crispy, with a very thin skin and moist on the inside. It needs the lemon and mayonnaise to balance the oiliness of fried chicken but nonetheless it’s quite good. You can’t have too much of it though.

IMG_4091What we have here is a almost raw fish. It is just charred ever so slightly with a Japanese sauce. The fish here is so good like this, it really doesn’t need much else other than the lemon and soya sauce. I’ve never quite had something like this before and I’m not quite certain of the name either! Just a big FYI, it is really pleasant.

Impressions

Gyoza King have knocked my socks off with the dishes they have delivered. Both their lunch and dinner selection are varied but have definitely made an impression with the dishes we ordered. I really do recommend giving it a try if you’re around the West End.

Gyoza King on Urbanspoon

Gyoza King

1508 Robson St
Vancouver BC V6G1C3

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Koko at Crown serves beautiful Japanese cuisine. Located a few floors above the famous Crown water fountains, and the Conservatory buffet restaurant. Koko would be considered slightly pricey but you definitely get your monies worth. Well we did anyway.

DSC00355Their restaurant has a small water feature in the middle of the restaurant, surrounded by the Teppanyaki grills and tables.  We ordered their set Teppanyaki Lunch set menus, but you can also order a la carte, and for dinner there is a different albeit more expensive teppanyaki sets’ for everyone to choose from. We ordered the Seafood,  and Beef sets and you are welcomed by the lovely staff and also greeted by the chef who will be cooking your meal. A lovely touch!

Each lunch set comes with appetisers and sashimi to start.

DSC00359The special set comes with a warm egg pudding like entree. It was quite nice actually.

DSC00360The vegetable tempura had a lovely thin but crispy batter, with the flavours of the vegetables still shining through.

DSC00361We are also served miso soup, rice and then the real fire starts! I don’t know why I never took pictures of the actual chef cooking our meals but do have an image of the end result.

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The three of us shared our sets so we could try a bit of everything. The beef was so soft and delicate, and packed full of flavour. The potatoes, mushrooms,  spinach and bean sprouts all were delicious. I was definitely satisfied and full after all that.

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Last but not least was the Green Tea ice-cream and that is always a winner for me.

Koko at Crown is definitely a great place to eat, I probably couldn’t afford to dine there regularly but it definitely will be on my list of great Melbourne restaurants to celebrate a special occassion. Great food, great atmosphere and great service.

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Koko at Crown
Crown Towers
8 Whiteman St
Southbank, 3006
(03) 9292 6886

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