Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tempura Hajime

I was quite excited about this dinner, wanted to try since 2007. Thanks Nut & LS to be my company.

Tempura Hajime is not a conventional restaurant, and the experience will not be for everyone. Once you make the reservation, the woman at the other end of the line will tell you that the restaurant is not easy to find, it is behind the unmarked door of the building. At the morning of the booking, you will receive a text message from the restaurant with directions to this hidden restaurant - "Enter from brown wooden door at 60 Park Street. No restaurant sign. Thank you."

There are only 12 seats in the restaurant. They serve six dinners at a time and just 12 diners per night. Don't you feel interested already?

There are 2 menu; Tempura menu ($75) and Tempura+sushi menu ($85). I went for the first one.

Nut & LS went for sake, the polite japanese waitress let them choose their own cups !

I had only warm water but they even serve me with this.... so nice !

Hot sake $34 for 300 ml.

Shall we start?

The appitizer : Kobachi + Sashimi

Sashimi of kingfish and ocean trout were so fresh. Once I put it into my mouth, I was immediately thinking about changing from Tempura set to Sashimi & Tempura set. But my mind kept telling me that I shouldn't eat too much..haha. Another small sliced fish (dunno what fish) was tossed with shiso and Japanese plum.. sublime !

A miso and sesame oil dressed chicken salad. So soft and well seasoned.. great for starting the meal.

Deep fried station.

We were given 2 types of dipping sauces, one was freshly sqeezed (in front of you) lemon juice with Murray River salt flakes and the second was the traditional tentsuyu sauce with fresh grated daikon, and were advised which sauce would be most suitable to which tempura. (But I couldn't really remember which one should eat with which one.. sorry guys :P)

then.... here comes the tempura.

Sweet corn - with salt & lemon

OMG, this corn was so fresh, crunchy and juicy... as good as the great corn can be.

Now in my head, this meal gotta be a great one.

Tuna & Eel

Fresh water eel were dipped in to teriyaki sauce by chef and topped with fresh wasabi

Tuna and avocado wrapped in nori, served with Japanese mayonnaise and teriyaki sauce.


Funny enough, this prawn was not what I expected. It was good but I prefer the crunchy texture as the one at Azuma more.

with tentsuyu sauce

Mixed seaweed salad

So fresh and delicious.

Sweet potato and Scallop with sea urchin

Too small ! hahaha

This was so good. The sweet potato was so fluffy and sweet, just the way I like

Minced prawn stuffed in mushroom

Wow, this was so juicy and well seasoned. LS & Nut really like it.

White fish with shiso

Nothing to complain about.

Marbled Japanese beef - no dipping sauce.

Sweet, fatty, succulent !

Sake cocktail (forgot what it is) to clean your palette.

Sushi plate - Tuna, Salmon, seared kingfish, seared salmon, seared wagyu beef, tamago, and sushi roll.

This one is for $85 set. Looks amazing ! (but I was stuffed at this stage). Love how they present it.

Kakiagedon which is a hearty mixed vegetable and seafood tempura on steamed rice with teriyaki sauce

This is for $75 set (mine). It was good but since I was too full, I was struggle to finish it.

Dessert : Yoghurt pannacotta with muscat.

Light, nice to finish the meal.

For me, I highly recommend this place if you are the tempura (and sashimi) fan. It was great experience. The food was prepared by skilled chef. The service was incredible polite (as you know Japanese). After I finished the meal, I thought I was dying... too full ! Really, my stomach was so painful, so scared... hahahaha

picture taken by LS using my camera :)

Tempura Hajime
60 Park St., Melbourne VIC
Tel : (03) 9696 0051


Simon Food Favourites said...

hopefully next time for me :-)

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Ooh I like this idea! It sounds very interesting. Thanks Ja! You always find really cool place to eat :)

Pauline said...

Hi! Love your blog :) I checked out quite a few places following your blog, most recent being Tempura Hajime.

It is really a wonderful experience but they mentioned no photograph allowed - may I know how you managed to take so many shots?

Bean Sprout's Cafe said...

Simon : ^ ^

Lorraine : I always follow other blogs, urs are also one of my food bible :)

Pauline : when I was there, they allowed to take pictures of the food but the restaurant.. My friend went there about 2 weeks later and said that they didn't allow anymore.. I was wondering they change the policy since I took too many picture? :P If it is really because of that.. I am sorryyyyyyyy ><

Pauline said...

Hi Ja, Thanks for your reply :) Come to Melbourne more so I have more places to check out :)

Bean Sprout's Cafe said...

Pauline : I would love to , thanks :)