Monday, April 16, 2012

Gaijin @ South Yarra

As the name suggests, Gaijin isn't a place for authentic Japanese. Translated as "foreign" or "alien", this place tries to take Japanese into a different land of their own or in more common words; means serving fusion cuisine.

The menu has a huge focus on sushi rolls and I guess by labelling themselves as fusion, it gives them the green light to stuff anything they please into the rice roll; genius. The result of this concept is 25 different combination sushi rolls and then backed up by some starters, rice and noodle dishes. 

Our concept of a simple dinner back in Brisbane has always been visiting a nearby place to eat some sushi rolls, so Gaijin fits the profile of a mid week dinner place. Being a 5 minute drive away is another plus point that Gaijin gets in my books.

Now on to the sushi. 


Spider vs Dragon Roll. Spider represents the soft shell crab and the Dragon represents the eel. Put the two together, it looks like this. While the Unagi was quite generously, the soft shell crab were more tempura batter than anything. The rice was softer than I am used to but then again, this is fusion, not authentic Japanese, so sushi rice can be whatever texture they like it to be.  


A more contemporary order was the tempura prawn roll which came with a little crab in the filling. It tasted pretty alright, what's there not to like about fried prawns?


Another feature of Fusion Japanese is the liberal use of mayo. This was on the spicy side to keep in sync to the name; Crunchy Spicy Salmon. The filling was a waste of calories; more tempura batter but I guess provided some texture to the dish. The salmon tasted fresh enough. While not an excellent dish, we liked where this was heading. 


Another classic item, this time the soft shell crab roll. This came with a decent amount of crab and we liked the ebiko around it. 


The last of the rolls; baked dynamite rolls. We loved the crab filling but the topping was kind of an over kill. The use of crab rolls or fake crab meat upset the Wife too. Order only if you like a "hot" sushi roll since this was baked and topped with sauce. 


Credit is due where it is deserved. Their interpretation of the tori karaage was good. Instead of cubes, we had slices, deep fried and coated with a teriyaki / mayo sauce. I could have easily eaten 2 plates by myself. 

Going through the pictures again and remembering the dinner, Gaijin isn't exactly a place for a serious dinner or a dinner you would highly recommend to people. What it is (at least to me); an averagely priced* place where we can grab a quick mid week dinner that consists of sushi rolls, some are funkier than others without much fuss.

* Around $12-$13 a sushi roll and maybe $20 a person if you share 3 rolls between two. 

Address and contact details: 

Gaijin Japanese Fusion on Urbanspoon

Verdict: Still would give this a 3.5 stars out of 5 stars for what it is. 


Michelle Chin said...

the rolls sound promising but i think it's hard to get them wrong

Winston said...

Omg that tori karaage does sound good and different. Btw, GREAT photos, Joe! Really giving me the pangs at this hour. Anyway, the sushis you ordered sounds like exactly what I would order too lol! This "fusion" sushi concept very similar to the ones you get at Jap restaurant chains in Msia eh? Man I'd love to pay this place a visit someday. Thanks for the review :)

iamthewitch said...

Yum! Haven't had Japanese ever since I moved here. They looked good although not all of them lived up to expectations. Hopefully I'll get the chance to splurge on some food which is not home made soon, if you know what I mean :P

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

iamthewitch: look out for hanaichi outlets (if there are any in sydney), 7 bucks for a katsudon/curry katsu and its awesome..

winston: yeah this was one of the rare occasions i took the camera out..loving the new lens!

mchin: trust me, eating sushi rolls at least twice a week for lunch, i have seen some that are REALLY wrong, from mushy rice, rolls that fall apart and miserable fillings.