Address: 33 Dukes Walk, South Wharf, VIC 3006
Phone: 03 9245 9900
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday – Lunch: 12-4pm, Dinner: 6pm – Late
Foodie Partner: Serinna & Elle
Background info: This is another restaurant under Paul Mathis group of restaurants, and the head chef here is Kengo Hiromatsu, former chef of Nobu.
On Saturday I finally had a chance to meet two of the girls who I’ve gotten to known via my blog and twitter.
Elle, a very tall beautiful girl, runs a shop by the name of Sunday Laundry which sells a unique range of clothing. So definitely check out her online shop! Our friendship all started from when she left a little message on my contact page, and I thought it was pretty sweet. Then we started chatting via twitter and I realised how much of a nice and down to earth girl she is! And finally on Sunday we decided to meet up for dinner, which were all very excited for. Elle also noticed that I was friends with Serinna, so we decided to ask her to meet up as well as all three of us have never met each other before! Turns out that both girls are extremely lovely, very easy to talk and we clicked straight away! We’ve even organised our next catch up already :D Also many thanks to Elle who gave both Serinna and I little gifts from Sunday Laundry! <3 Thank you dear!
Serinna on the other hand is a petite, sweet and cute girl, and writer of Beauty, fashion, LOVE blog. She’s been following my twitter for a while, but it’s only been of recent that I started chatting with her on twitter, and realised how much we had in common. We met up before heading to South Wharf Promenade, and it wasn’t awkward at all talking to her, because she’s really easy to talk to! :)
Anyway, we all decided to meet up at South Wharf Promenade to try out the new Japanese Izakaya place by the name of Akachochin which means Red Lanterns.
For drinks we started off with plum wine: Nanbubijin Touruimutenka Junmai Umeshu. I was instantly pulled towards the drink when I saw the word pink. haha.
I checked with the waiter to make sure that the drink was sweet and fruity.
The drink without doubt is as pretty as described on the menu. The drink is served in a beautifully crafted glass bottle in which it has a small dent on the side for easy gripping. It also comes with 3 cute little glasses.
The drink isn’t overly sweet. The taste is very similar to cider, so if you’re a fan of cider, this drink is suited to you.
Half way through the meal we had already consumed all of our plum wine, so we were asked whether we wanted another drink.
With the recommendation of the waiter, we ordered a Sparkling Sake – Shochikubai mio happou junmai, which is a sweet sparkling sake with apple fruity notes to it.
The bottle is a very beautiful deep blue colour and looks super pretty when you put a tea light behind it, as shown below in my photo.
Out of the two drinks, I actually prefer this drink because it’s sweeter, almost lemonade-ish in taste (dangerous as I would have continued drinking had it not been a 1.2 standard alcoholic drink :P)
Elle ordered a can of Malt’s Beer but I didn’t try it as I was still sick with my sore throat :( Hopefully Elle will comment below to let us know what it tastes like :)
First off we were presented a complimentary appetiser, which was a small mound of blanched and lightly seasoned spinach. Nothing special, but it is nice to have a complimentary appetiser to start off with.
One of the starter dishes that we ordered was the Shiromi Senbei, a deep fried fish chips seasoned with salt and ao-nori.
All three of us found that the dish wasn’t all too spectacular and it really lacked something. We then realised that eating it with the Daikon salad was what should have been served with the dish, or perhaps a nice dipping sauce as having this deep fried chips on its own was quite dry. I guess if you’re having it with beer, this would be the perfect match.
The next starter dish that we ordered was the Reisei Kamo Munaniku with Nikogori, which is a soy, mirin, chilli & ginger marinated duck breast with confit duck jelly.
The star of the dish was definitely the soy, mirin, chilli and ginger marinated duck breast, which was very tender and moist and it was sliced very thinly. Whilst it looks as though they used the sauce very sparingly, in my opinion I feel that it’s sufficient as the slices were pretty thin. The sauce was slightly sweet and tangy from the mirin, and complimented well with the duck breast meet. I couldn’t taste much of the chilli though, but like you all know, my tolerance for chilli is very high so it wouldn’t have had any impact on my taste buds.
As for the confit duck jelly, I did find it to be slightly dry, and it’s very lean in taste. I’m not a big fan of it, but it’s nice to dip it into the wasabi, which looked yellow visually. I wasn’t aware that it was wasabi at first and had quite a shock when it hit the nose! But I do love my wasabi though!
As simple as this ebi and daikon creamy salad looks, it was in fact our very favourite dish of the night. The wasabi dressing was the perfect dressing for this dish. It’s tangy; and it complements the prawns, raddish and mixed leave well. I believe the creamyness came from the kewpie mayo that they used (i’m pretty sure it’s kewpie mayo!, or am I watching too much masterchef?! ;)).
The final dish we had was the Rice Soup – Unagi Dashi Chazuke.
It’s a bowl of rice with chopped eels, nori seaweed, wasabi, seasame seeds, spring onion and oshinko which is a Japanese pickled radish that is bright yellow visually. It’s served with a very hot clear soup.
This was recommended by our waiter who said it’s his favourite.
I find that whilst the dish looks visually appealing, and there’s a novelty factor in pouring the soup into rice, I found that it was an average dish. It’s not that it didn’t taste nice, but we all felt that it wasn’t an OH MY GOD, I need to come back for this dish again. Also the hot soup served in a small flask probably wasn’t the best idea as it was extremely hot for us to handle. We had to grab our napkin so that we were able to grip onto the bottle. But many thanks to Elle for enduring the heat of the flask so that I can take a photo!
Whilst, dessert is a must for me when I go out dining, the desserts served at Akachochin didn’t really tickle my fancy. As The Sharing House was next door, and the girls had read about my Sharing House blog post, we decided to go next door to have desserts.
Overall, the meal between the three of us, including drinks was relatively cheap. It was already quite late at night so we didn’t really order that many dishes for us to decide whether we would revisit.
I guess being our first time meeting each other for the first time we spent a majority of the time chatting so we didn’t order enough dishes to make a conclusion on whether we would revisit. However, the waitress who had served us was very friendly and bubbly, and the service overall was professional and attentive. Also thank you to the waitress who split the change equally amongst the three of us.