Hayashi Japanese restaurant, Applecross
Jac and I went out to dinner at Hayashi Japanese restaurant (2/15 Ogilvie Road, Applecross) to celebrate her birthday last month.
Jac's starter was the beef tataki (entree* AU$17.50, main $28.50). Jac loves any rare or raw beef dishes and wanted this as soon as she saw it on the menu. When she ordered, our waiter asked, "You know this is very rare, almost raw beef...?" Presumably they get people ordering the dish and then freaking out when it is served and they see just how rare the beef is - it's on the raw side of rare. We assured the waiter this was exactly what Jac expected and wanted. Desserts are listed at the back of the menu, but we didn't order any at this stage; we told our waiter we'd eat our two savoury courses then see if we had room for dessert and/or coffee after that. As it turned out, we weren't given the opportunity to order dessert anyway - more about that later in the post.
The slices of beef were served with minced ginger, garlic and horseradish, bright green threads of delicately sliced spring onion, and a dish of soy vinegar dipping sauce on the side. Jac liked the bitey horseradish the best with the beef. She relished every slice of beef and enjoyed this dish very much.
For my starter I chose the teppanyaki duo of tiger prawns and scallops (entree* AU$17.50, main $31.50). The seafood was beautifully cooked, caramelised from the hot teppanyaki grill, but with the prawns still bursty and the scallops delicately tender and moist.
The prawns and scallops glistened from the light soy sauce that had been drizzled over them, and there was a shallow pool of more soy sauce for dipping, on the side of the serving dish. I loved it.
After our starter dishes were cleared away, our bowls of miso soup were served. I thought this meant the main courses were not far away and so I waited to drink my soup; when eating Japanese food I like having the soup as a side dish to a main course, rather than as a course on its own. But after a little while it became apparent the main courses weren't on the way, so I drank some of my soup before it got too cold. It was good, with the usual floating bits - little cubes of soft tofu, spring onion and seaweed. The photo below shows the miso soup before I stirred it.
The main courses were lovely! Jac ordered the chirashi set (AU$28.50), which consisted of a selection of freshly sliced raw fish, omelette, cooked prawn, seasoned seaweed, shitake mushrooms, pickled ginger and a nub of wasabi, a rather impressive arrangement on top of a generous amount of sushi seasoned rice sprinkled with roasted sesame seeds.
Jac found she didn't really need the rice! She enjoyed working her way through the fish, seaweed, salad and mushrooms, all the different flavours and textures.
I ordered one the tori karaage bento (AU$25.50). The bento set included pieces of chicken karaage (deep-fried marinated chicken), miso soup (served earlier, as mentioned), a prawn tempura sushi roll, steamed rice, green salad, seaweed salad, a little fruit (red apple, honeydew melon and rockmelon) and soy sauce for dipping in the centre of the bento box.
The prawn tempura sushi roll was delicious! A tempura battered prawn had been stretched out and rolled in nori and sushi rice with a generous smear of mayonnaise, the sushi roll studded on the outside with golden sesame seeds.
The chicken was freshly deep-fried and wonderfully crisp on the outside and juicy on the inside with a nice gingery flavour.
The service at Hayashi was good - until we'd finished our main courses. We were quite open to the idea of dessert and waited for someone to clear our table, at which time we intended to ask for another look at the menu. Unfortunately, no one came to clear the table and getting someone's attention proved frustrating - it seemed that not one staff member wanted to catch our eye. This was in a not even half-full restaurant on a Wednesday night. 20 minutes later, we got up, paid our bill and left. That's money we could've spent, Hayashi. That's our overall impression of your service, Hayashi. Not the ideal way to end a meal at your restaurant. What a shame.
Hayashi Japanese restaurant 2/15 Ogilvie Road, Applecross
More of my thoughts on incomplete restaurant service
Read TFP SAYS article - The problem of incomplete restaurant service
In Australia, "entree" means the first course or starter, the course before the main course. In the US, "entree" means the main course. To avoid confusion as many of my readers are from the US I tend to refer to our first course as the "starter" and the main course as the "main course", avoiding the use of the word "entree" completely.