Don Tojo is pretty much the Don Don’s of Carlton. Quick, fast and easy Japanese food. The menu isn’t very diverse with a few pork, beef and chicken dishes, curry and noodle soups but they excel in what they do.
The Buta Teriyaki Don is basically slow cooked pork on rice with teriyaki seasoning. I liken it to slices of roast pork with the teriyaki flavouring. It’s quite nice, though the pork I find a bit dry and lacking in vegetables or other accompaniments but it’s cheaper than your typical Asian/Japanese food so it makes sense.
Cheap, tasty Japanese food.
164 Cardigan Street
Carlton VIC 3053
Rice Workshop is still one of my favourite Japanese fast-food places in Melbourne. Luckily, I’m spoilt and there is one in Box Hill so close by for me that I regularly order their Japanese curry or sometimes just a Green Tea or Black Sesame soft serve when I pass by.
It’s similar to Hanaichi in that food definitely comes quick, and it doesn’t necessarily mean it lacks anything in taste. Their Beef Curry even in a small serve can be sufficiently filling, with generous amounts of curry and beef. However, what I find it lacks in is potatoes or some vegetables to make it a more balanced meal. Other than that, I really do love the curry there.
Not on their main menu, they sometimes offer the Unadon or their Fried Eel, which has a lovely aroma to it. Definitely just for fans of eel, which I am not.
Rice Workshop have a few difference variations of their Beef Rice Bowls, along with Chicken Rice Bowls, and the curry you can order it with Chicken or Pork Katsu, Grilled Chicken or even Tofu as a vegetarian option, and of course, some Udon and Soba options as well. I find their selection of dishes to be great and honestly, price wise it’s good value too.
Tasty dishes, fast and good value.
Shop 57 Box Hill Central (South Precinct)
1 Main St
Box Hill VIC 3128
Gyoza Gyoza in Chadstone Shopping Centre is the sister outlet to the CBD store. It distinguishes itself by being more of a tapas style Japanese eatery with small little dishes, with a number of gyoza fillings to choose from and a selection of drinks as well.
While gyoza is its specialty, the other selection of dishes aren’t left behind in terms of quality. The Hot Soba noodles soup has a very clean tasting soup stock, and simply tastes fresh with the added spring onions. Subtle flavour, but has all the right elements for a nice noodle soup.
The Fried Chicken (Tori Karage) isn’t too memorable. It’s crisp-crunchy but its very dry on its own, so the Japanese mayonnaise is much needed.
The Crab claws are crunchy, not too fried and have a nice moist crab filling. It isn’t anything special, I quite prefer the crab claws in Waya in Glen Waverley just for the crab taste but it’s actually very similar.
Mince garlic and pork Gyoza has a lovely taste to it. Subtlety of the garlic and pork flavour work well.
The Wagyu and red onion is an interesting idea but in terms of flavour, it comes out quite bland. Not a big fan of it but it isn’t a disaster by any means.
While the food at Gyoza Gyoza is fairly decent, service wise it isn’t anything special and the small venue I feel detracts from the whole ambience.
Chadstone Shopping Centre
Upper Level, 1341 Dandenong Road
Chadstone VIC 3148