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Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Kuza Japanese Restaurant, Victoria Park

For Father's Day back in August, we had a nice little family dinner at Kuza Japanese Restaurant in Victoria Park. I have been to Kuza for lunch earlier this year and was not particularly impressed with the ramen that people were raving about. Subsequently I was a bit sceptical coming back to try the dinner menu that I have heard so many good things about. As my family is a big fan of Japanese food, Father's Day dinner presented itself as the perfect opportunity to give Kuza a second chance. 

The ambiance at night was certainly a little bit nicer and more formal than the lunch. I liked the modern decor, especially the inbuilt wine/sake bottle holder wall. The graffiti art on the wall directly opposite, adds an artistic and youthful look to the restaurant. It's probably one of the only restaurants where I have seen graffiti wall art used as part of the decor.

Considering it was a Saturday night, I expected the restaurant to be quite busy and it was, which is always a good sign. The dishes are considered modern Japanese and have mainly been created for sharing, so it's a great place to go with a small group of people.

Crispy Mock Chicken Tofu Salad ($16):
The mock chicken was really good! It was tossed with some mixed leafy veggies, crispy lotus root chips and a special Kuza sesame dressing. Overall one of my favourites of the night, it had a great balance of flavours and textures in the dish, which made a great start to our night.

Kamo Ro-Su ($18):
Seared duck breast with a side salad consisting of rocket leaves and pear slices topped with a creamy mustard and sake sauce. From memory the dish was served cold. I really enjoyed the flavours in the salad but I'm not so sure I liked the duck breast, perhaps it was the cold that put me off. This was probably our least favourite dish of the night, but something different we tried.

Spicy Yuzu Scallop Roll ($16):
I don't normally have scallop with my sushi but this was rather tasty! Seared Hokkaido scallop with cucumber and yuzu pepper mayonnaise, with a dash of Tobiko (Japanese flying fish roe) on top to finish it off.

Crab Korokke ($13):
This was another of my favourites of the night, Japanese style crab meat croquettes, served on a bed of creamy spicy sauce vinaigrette. I'm a big fan of croquettes so I can't resist ordering it when I see it on a menu and it didn't disappoint, tasted how a croquette should taste :)  

Dragon Roll ($16):
I've tried several variants of the Dynamite Roll from various sushi joints and it's always nice to see the different takes on it. This Dynamite Roll consisted of soft shell crab wrapped with rocket leaves and spicy mayonnaise rolled in Tobiko. I liked how they used two different coloured tobiko for the different "parts" of the soft shell crab.

Vegetable Tempura ($14):
Nothing out of the ordinary here, assorted vegetable tempura served with Tentsuyu sauce (usual Tempura dipping sauce). I'm not normally a huge fan of tempura, but it was tasty enough.

Black Sesame & Green Tea Ice Cream ($12):
There isn't a better way to finish off a nice little dinner other than with a typical Japanese dessert, black sesame and green tea ice cream, topped with some berry fruits.

Our final bill was a little over a $100 for the table, which was a fairly pricey meal, but as we had the Entertainment Book, we scored a 25% discount. Overall, we really enjoyed the food. The service was nothing to rave about, but an old friend of my happened to work at Kuza that particular night and she was did a great job with our order :)

J.

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