Burwood’s skyline has changed considerably over the last few years, with the flat lines of houses and low-rises replaced with towering high-rise apartments. In the lower levels of one of these new buildings is Ginza Yakiniku, where we visited to celebrate my father’s 50th birthday (Happy Birthday, Dad!).
The restaurant is split into two different areas, with one being an open-air booth seating area, furnished with bare pine frames and plenty of lighting.
The bar area has various Japanese art pieces and more bare pine but also has a low ceiling with exposed pipes giving Ginza Yakiniku an open and industrial feel to it.
The Ginza Special Sashimi Boat came out with a wide array of raw seafood. I was struck by the beauty of the presentation and variety of colour. The fish tasted and felt very clean and fresh and the oysters were satisfyingly creamy. We kept the squid and scallops for the grill.
The Tofu Salad consisted of mixed salad vegetables with silken tofu and a miso dressing. The dressing was the real winner here. I couldn’t get enough of the sweet and salty sesame dressing!
This has got to be the best Chicken Karaage I’ve ever had! The batter was consistent, crispy and delicious and the chicken tender and juicy. Every bite, with or without mayonnaise, was a delight.
The Seared Salmon Nigiri was, again, presented beautifully. However, the salmon was only very lightly seared and lacked the charred flavour I was expecting. The sauce was good and provided most of the flavour of this dish. This was closer to a salmon sashimi nigiri drenched in sauce.
Finally, the grill was fired up and our yakiniku dishes came out. In our first round, we had a combination of vegetables, seafood and meat. Interestingly, all the exhaust is actually sucked out through the holes surrounding the grill you see above which was very effective. Some of the dishes come in convenient tart foil cases which allowed the main ingredient to simmer in butter.
Our bellies unsatisfied, we ordered another round of Wagyu Deckle, Black Angus and Ox Tongue. The difference in flavour and texture between the Wagyu beef and Black Angus was noticeable. The Wagyu was so much fattier, more tender and juicier than the Black Angus beef. I’ve never been partial to ox tongue but this one was seasoned well.
We did bring a bottle of wine with us but it was shocking to hear that corkage at Ginza Yakiniku was $6pp! This was one example of a few questionable pricing decisions at Ginza Yakiniku. Another example is that the fine print on the buffet selection states that they charge you $2.50 for every hotplate change. Though this might be a small amount in the grand scheme of things, the fact they snuck this term into the fine print and have strategically priced their corkage to match their own drinks really tarnished the experience.
The presentation of the dishes and quality of the ingredients were decent at Ginza Yakiniku however I couldn’t help but get a “shopping centre food court” vibe from the exposed piping and open, bare wooden framing which gave us a front row seat to escalators and glass shopfronts. The whole experience felt a little off-balance regarding food quality, ambience and price point.
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