Gaijin Japanese Fusion

Posted by Unknown on Saturday, August 17, 2013 with No comments
Many times was Gaijin highly recommended to me by a friend, and so I thought it was about time I popped in for a visit. But why did this Japanese word sound so familiar to me? Oh that's right -Tokyo Drift ! As DK explained, Gaijin "means, turn around, keep walking". But no not really, what Gaijin really refers to is someone who is a non-Japanese - an outsider or a foreigner. What a perfect name for a Japanese Fusion restaurant.

 Ahi Tuna Tartare

Fresh raw tuna cubes marinated, with mango salsa on crispy nori tempura chips was the first dish out. The first bite intrigued me, with the play on different textures and flavours. However, throughout the night, my thoughts on this dish had changed. In the end, my friend only had one while I ended up picking around the tuna and ate the nori chips by itself. Considered one of their most popular dishes, I was expecting a little more. Though certainly quite unique, it just didn't tickle our fancy. 

Spider vs Dragon Roll

In this dish, the Spider was represented by soft shell crab, battling it out with the Dragon played by unagi. Wrapped inside out was tempura crunch, soft shell crab, mayo, cream cheese which was topped with grilled tender unagi slices. And the result we see above tasted absolutely amazing. Soft shell crab sushi rolls are always the best. The cream cheese was smooth and creamy (duh) which coupled nicely with the crunch of tempura and soft shell crab. Hands down the favourite of the night.

Crunchy Spicy Salmon Special

Just like in the Spider vs Dragon Roll, the sushi rice here at Gaijin was plump, sightly sticky and slightly chewy which supported the other components of the dish well. Again, we see the use of tempura crunch,  but hey who's complaining? I could definitely get used to this tempura crunch business. Together with the tempura crunch was raw spicy salmon, topped with more salmon slices and served with Gaijin sauce (spicy mayo).

Seared Scallops

Next out were our hot dishes of the night, and first came seared hokkaido scallops served with tempura sauce, dried bonito fish flakes and finished off with spring onion garnishing. As these scallops came out, my mind wondered off to scallop wonderland -  that sweet freshness and succulent texture that make scallops just so delectable. But, my tastebuds were not in sync. Instead, my tastebuds had sampled mushy, over cooked scallops which lacked flavour. Unfortunately, this dish was our least favourite of the night and just left bad taste in my mouth.

Agedashi Tofu

Six hot silken cubed tofus floated in a fragrant sweet and salty broth. The soft tofu was lightly deep fried which formed a crispy golden brown skin. Sprinkled on top was sliced spring onion and dried bonito fish flakes that twisted and moved with the heat - the bonito dance as I would like to call it.

With creaky floors that felt like they were about to collapse any minute shadowed with a gloomy ambience, Gaijin did feel a little uncomfortable. Perhaps the not-so-great weather that night did not help either. However, food and service was prompt and speedy and the company of A always ends in a good night. If you do plan to make your way to Gaijin, the inventive Japanese fusion rolls and Agedashi tofus here should not be missed.

Gaijin Japanese Fusion
135 Commercial Road 
South Yarra

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