Located in Eastland’s Town Square, Kyoto Cafe provides a bit of Japanese flavour to Ringwood. Its interior is reminiscent of modern Japanese restaurants with its generous wood panelling all around. It has an open kitchen with kitchen-side dining, and room upstairs as well.
While Kyoto Cafe do offer a few Donburi’s (Rice bowls), they do have a more extensive Yakitori menu, as well as tapas dishes, sushi and bento choices. They also offer a few dessert options, most are displayed at the front of their restaurant which are basically a variety of cakes and cream puffs to choose from.
One of their bento options comes with fresh sashimi, tempura, chicken katsu and steamed egg with dipping sauces.
The sashimi were sliced into smaller pieces, but tasted quite fresh. The chicken katsu was crispy, and tender, while the tempura was also crisp with a light batter surrounding it and soft inside. There was also this odd vegetable wrap, I wasn’t fond of it and tasted a bit bland.
The steamed egg wasn’t as soft as I would have liked either and also was a tad under seasoned but still one of the better ones I’ve tried.
The Japanese Fried Chicken here has this very dark, sticky glaze on it. The chicken was tender and crisp but I wasn’t overly impressed by the flavour of the marinade. Just give me the normal Chicken Karaage.
To be honest, the main reason for coming to Kyoto Cafe was to try their desserts. The Yuzu cake had an amazingly punchy Yuzu flavour with a soft mouse layer, and a cake base.
The Green Tea cream puff wasn’t as crunchy as I’d like but it had a great Matcha cream flavour inside that kinda oozed out. The Black Sesame flavoured one is on the list to try!
The ambience at Kyoto Cafe makes for a great dining experience. The food here, while it may not be amazing, will give you a tasty meal and sometimes that’s all you’re after. The beautiful desserts don’t hurt either.
Eastland Shopping Centre
Level 3, 175 Maroondah Highway (Town Square)
Ringwood VIC 3134
Waya on Kingsway, Glen Waverley is a Japanese restaurant with an interesting assortment of dishes from Sashimi, Sushi rolls, as well as Donburi (rice ), Ramen and Bento boxes as well as plentiful Japanese-tapas dishes. What also interested me was that they also offered hot pot, which you don’t often find in many Japanese restaurants. A few years back it was difficult to find any Japanese restaurants on Kingsway but now there is Monga Izakaya, Ajisen Ramen, Shira Nui and Yokohama Teppanyaki that all have their own appeal.
Waya’s Waka Maki aka rice with Salmon, Cucumber and Avocado topped with Tobiko and Spicy Sauce is probably one of my favourite ones I’ve tried to date. Although, funnily enough, no resturant’s version of their spicy sushi rolls have topped the sushi stall inside Box Hill Woolworths (Spicy Tuna rolls).
As mentioned before, the choice for hot pot is something I’m not quite use to but would love to see at more venues. We ordered the Kimchi Hot Pot served with Kimchi with Sliced Pork, Vegetables, Mushroom, Fish Cake and Tofu. It can actually be served for two to three people depending on if you’re sharing dishes. The hot pot has a lovely kimchi flavour with enough spiciness to go around.
I generally found the dishes at Waya to be quite good. Nothing amazing, or spectacular but for a decent Japanese meal at a decent price it’s a good option and I find it to be more satisfying than Ajisen Ramen (located minutes away)
Ending my Toronto series with Ki Modern Japanese and Bar located on Brookfield Place Bay Street, in the Toronto CBD. Ki meshes the Western culture with Japanese cuisine in which you end up with dishes such as burgers but with a slight twist or sushi with spicy tomato salsa or mango.
For those looking for a more traditional Japanese meal, at Ki they do offer a variety of freshly made nigiri, sashimi and maki sushi rolls. As a modern Japanese restaurant, they also serve slightly different sushi rolls, some with bacon or sweet potato which make for interesting combinations and especially on your palette.
Overall, the food quality here is fantastic. The sushi, tempura sushi and even the burgers are all delicious. However, I found the dishes leaning more towards Western style to have very minimal Japanese influences as such it would appear like eating it in any other upmarket cafe or the like.
Ki do Japanese well, although it comes at a price because the dishes here aren’t exactly cheap.
181 Bay St
Toronto ON M5J2S1
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.
Their 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.
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.
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.
Koko at Crown
8 Whiteman St
(03) 9292 6886