367 Brunswick St
It was a Sunday evening – with the parents absent, the house was void of homely food and full to the brim with amotivation to cook. We flipped through the cheap eats book landing us on a two star Japanese restaurant – Yume, which was coincidentally also in the entertainment book. This is sure going to be a cheap meal! Though there was no struggle to find parking, Brunswick Street was still buzzing with people for a Sunday. Walking passed the place, I warned my sister that quiet places are not to be meddled with – rule #1 of dining: never eat at places that are suspiciously empty when nearby places are full. Losing out against our inherent ‘cheapness’, we went ahead and took a small table against the wall of this cosy eatery, decorated with splashes of origami and geisha paintings.
Ok, I’ll get the negatives out of the way before writing about the nicer aspects of this place. A number of minutes after ordering we were informed that there was no edamame and no sushi rice. Are you for real? No sushi rice in a Japanese restaurant? This was followed with an atrocious salad… well I thought it was atrocious anyways =P.
Japanese salad – mountain vegetables, basil & sesame dressing.
I ordered this dish on the preconception (and assumption) that it would be a thick ‘goma’ dressing that would coat the vegetables in roast’y sesame. But, though the greens were fresh and juicy, I was disappointed to discover this was literally a watery basil and sesame dressing, which was rather bland, hardly acidic, and barely discernable sesame. ARgh!
Oyako don – chicken, egg, green onion on rice.
Presented in a large and heavy ceramic bowl, this looked promising. Soft gooey egg, crunchy slices of green onion, and succulent pieces of chicken coated in a ‘generous’ sauce infused with the sweetness of caramelised onions. Personally, I generally dislike having sauce that soaks too deep into the rice – I like having my rice as a plain contrast to the central flavours of the dish – but this was otherwise a tasty bowl of Oyakodon. Ms JH thought: “The Oyakodon especially [good] – i loved the gooeyness of it all. Actually one of the better oyakodons that I’ve had…”
Nabeyaki udon – udon served with vegetables and seafood tempura.
Brought out steaming with the sweet aromas of the broth, I was quick to break the egg yolk to have it incorporated with the fragrant mirin and dashi. The tempura prawn was still crispy; the slices of charshu were succulent but a little under-marinated; and the udon was err’ing on the soft side lacking that nice ‘Q’ bite to it.
Rating: somewhere between Average and Yummy – at lesss than $20 for the two of us it’s a decent cheap eat. But has a number of seething problems especially with ingredient availability. And, though the waitress was a pleasantly soft spoken Japanese waitress, kitchen-to-table speed was a little slow.