82 Charles St, Seddon. Phone: 96871027
New review can be found here.
Adam and Maya have lived in Yarraville for five years, and for all of that time they’ve been thinking surely someone will get some Japanese action going in the neighbourhood in terms of eating out.
Nobody did … so they did!
They’ve been open for about a week when I visit and things are going good for them.
The concise yet astutely chosen Japanese grocery lines reflect Maya’s frustration about having to travel to Prahran, Moonee Ponds or Kyoto for the right products.
Adam tells me they were quite keen to do without selling the ubiquitous sushi rolls. But the fact they’re selling very briskly probably puts them in the category of things that simply can’t be avoided if you’re going into the Japanese eatery business.
For the time being, they’re set up for providing quick, fine and affordable lunches and takeaway on a Tuesday-Saturday, 10am-7pm basis.
Adam tells me, though, that there’s space left in their musings and space on the premises, too, for a move towards more substantial dinner fare should things go well.
Adam’s background includes stints at Blue Train and Big Mouth while Maya has worked at Izakaya Den.
The ajitoya motto: “Does this train go to Osaka?” … that being something Adam was asked at least a gazillion times a day when he lived in Japan for three years.
Along with the rolls, the display cabinet holds four osozai, or salads. The soba noodles, coleslaw, salmon sashimi tataki and vegetables with sesame sauce dressing in shabu shabu style all look very lovely.
Being of robust appetite, I head straight for the menu section that details the bento meal combos.
They include karaage, agedashi tofu, sushi or a combination of three salads. With each comes rice, miso soup and a choice of one osozai, and mostly costing $16.
My miso soup is fine, of a good temperature and boasting a profusion of squishy tofu bits.
The coleslaw is everything I hope it will be, full of flavour from the sesame dressing and having that superb wilted crunchiness that only the Japanese and certain European cuisines seem capable of.
The fried chicken is little less tanned than is usually the case – maybe it was the first batch of the day? – but the coating is delicate and the chicken is just as juicy and flavoursome as I could want, beaut smeared with the dab of mayo on the side.
I suspect Adam and Maya are likely to find they were not alone in fervently wishing for a Japanese dining option in the neighbourhood, and certainly I’ll be returning very soon with Bennie – he’ll love the chook, but I reckon I’ll go for the clean and fresh salad combo.
Ms Baklover at Footscray Food Blog loves ajitoya, too, as you can discover by reading her review.
And check out the ajitoya Facebook page here.