Izakaya Chuji

I would say it’s hard to resist the temptation for the goodness of Japanese food especially when you are in hunger. Me and my friend, L, were craving for Japanese food and we kinda starving that day. Walking down through Lonsdale street in Melbourne CBD, saw the bento lunch deal on Izakaya Chuji’s entrance and then decided to try the “make your own bento box”. Giving another shot to Izakaya Chuji this week after a not-so-good sushi dinner experience last year. I keep in mind how expensive I had to pay such small portions in mediocre quality foods. But this time I had a much better dining experience :) izakaya-chuji-3 I remember how crowded this restaurant was on my first visit but surprisingly not too many people dined in even though it was lunch time. The waitress quickly came bringing the menu and explained how the “make your own bento box” works. So we can choose one main dish from part A, one side dish from part B and one vegetable dish from part C and they will come with free rice and miso soup. I got myself Soft shell crab, prawn gyoza and horenso (chilled spinach) while L chose salmon teriyaki, prawn gyoza and wakame (seaweed) salad.

20130913_134630 The star of my bento should have been the soft-shell crab but poor him the prawn gyoza was more tantalizing! Crunchy gyoza skin was really crisp and fresh with fluffy and tasty minced prawn. They were even better when eaten with Japanese mayonnaise (It’s Kewpie, I reckon). The Japanese mayonnaise is very creamy and thick in texture, savory with subtle sweetness in flavor.

izakaya-chuji The soft-shell crab itself was a little bit too flat for me, texture also kind of soggy in some parts but again, Kewpie escalated my crab. Horenso was good, not to say it’s great but the rice and miso soup were tasty. In terms of the portion, this bento comes pretty small except the 3 pieces of gyoza. But hey, it’s 14,00 bucks anyway! :)

izakaya-chuji-1 L’s salmon teriyaki was cooked nicely with the teriyaki sauce but she also loved her prawn gyoza more than the star dish.

izakaya-chuji-2 The ambient and service were also good compared to what I experienced last time. I’m not sure if the hustle in the restaurant will affect other aspects down or what.

Ah well.. I love the idea of creating the bento based on our personal likings of the dishes. And I would be willing to give the bento another shot and try to make a different bento combination box next time!

*The lunch deal is over at 3 p.m. in the afternoon so make sure to drop by earlier if you want to eat without rushing since the restaurant will close for several hours before dinner time.
Izakaya Chuji on Urbanspoon

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