Sunday, September 04, 2005


Introduction: Fusion food - Japanese modern at 34 Jackson St, Toorak
Ambience: A plethora of young Japanese waiters and plain setting give Orita's a distinctly Japanese feel

Service: Confused and error prone. The manager did well acknowledging. apologising and doing a reasonable job of repairing the errors

Food: I had the Signature Omakase (Degustation) Menu ($68) upgraded from the fish to to the Lobster main course ($97). The half lobster tail came from a very small lobster and was not quite as good as I'd hoped a little dry and hard. All the other dishes were excellent. Beautifully presented and tasty. The marinated salmon, topped by a small ring of onion containing a colourful delicate edible flower was enhanced when combined with the light vinagrette lettuce. The stewed beef spare rib with a fine potato salad was very good as was the delicate sushi. Perhaps the best was the small cup of carrot soup- I have no idea how they did it but it was devine.
The crispy garlic fried rice was very acceptable and the dessert, a peanut mousse was interesting but not outstanding. Of the other dishes we tried the tempura was unsurpassable, there was a a Japanese prawn rice, a bit like a porridge, well worth trying. The pigeon, which turned out to be half a pigeon ($30) was extremely tasty but rather a small serve. Other desserts- mint chocolate mousse and the tempura icecream were not notable.
Wine: We drank some basic cocktails - G&T cheap at $6 and Mt Adam Pinot Noir (60) which I found indifferent. You can bring your own.

Price: Around $90/ head

Comments: After closing for 6 months for refurbishment there is little change to see in the main body of the restaurant. The food is as good as ever. Chef Hikaru Orita is innovative and interesting. If I gave out hats he'd get one

Score: 15.5/20

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