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THE MODERN EATERY, 176 Swan St, Richmond.
by Zoe Robertson
The room was painted platinum grey on exposed brick and an oversized illuminated paw-waving cat welcomes you on the wall as you step inside. It’s sassy, it’s obnoxious and it’s the trend all restaurants are following now.
The first meal was served and my empty stomach was doing back flips at how enticing it looked. Unfortunately, this did not carry through to the taste. The Pali Pali salad ($16) was lacking a power ingredient to lift it from a side salad to a hit main item. The dish was overpowered with too much lettuce which took away from the smaller ingredients like the crunchy sweet potato shredded on top which needed to be more appreciated in all its glory.
I took a quick trip to the Ladies room and on my walk, my eyes darted across to the marble top bar, where all the raw food is prepared. The chef was wearing a beret and big circle glasses whilst torching 50 pieces of Japanese salmon nigiri; juxtaposition at its finest. Who doesn’t love a show whilst you’re eating? And the taste? Being obsessed with Japanese food since I was little, my palette was well-rehearsed, and this, was some of the best seared salmon nigiri I had ever tasted and exceptionally affordable for the amount you get ($16).
This followed with a sea explosion called the Musashi Roll, filled with scallops on the inside and kingfish lying on top with a dollop of avocado sauce; it had me intrigued. The polished and smiling waiter politely suggested I dip my piece in wasabi and soy before eating. Risky, I was one to always avoid that spice sensation, but I trusted him nonetheless, and it paid off. ($16)
There was a break and time for me to enjoy the music; mellow, funky instruments beating away, were the perfect background noise so it didn’t feel like sitting in a silent doctor’s office nor a blaring nightclub.
The Miyazaki chicken was the signature dish of the Head Chef’s hometown – it was not to be missed. The chicken was tender and with a decent but not overpowering tempura coating, laying on a bed of tangy sauce. It was a flavour burst and evident this dish was filled with love. ($16)
There’s this Matcha craze seeping in to Melbourne at the moment and they have intelligently jumped on to the growing trend. My first bite was just of the pannacotta, which instantly reminded me why I don’t like Matcha. However, my second bite was accompaniedwith the white chocolate crumb, meringue and citrus pieces and my mouth exploded. It was fresh and punchy with a chocolate tone to smooth it out. For a Matcha non-enthusiast, this dish had me thinking I might order it again upon my next visit.
Overall, a solid 3.5 pint glasses out of 5 for this hip new place in the heart of Swan St; room to grow but a lot of potential.
27 Aug 2017 11:18 PMUpdated
12 Dec 2017 12:00 PM
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