27 August 2013
Sad drizzly skies didn’t dampen my excitement as I jogged into Midori restaurant for a Thursday afternoon lunch date. We scored an online deal for 50% off the à la carte food menu, woo!! The regular prices are listed in this review so that you can see what your money will ordinarily buy you at this restaurant.
This restaurant seems quite popular for its teppanyaki-style dining but I’m rarely cashed-up enough to indulge in the food that I recently enjoyed at Fuku restaurant (for free). Armed with our discount, we splashed out by ordering an entrée and main each from the à la carte menu.
Popcorn shrimp ($16)
The popcorn-sized tempura prawns arrived first. We didn’t sit around to count whether we received 18 pieces, as specified on the menu. I greedily stabbed at the crunchy battered prawns which were covered in a very mildly spicy sauce. The “mixed salad” is really just chunks of boring iceberg lettuce, but it’s jazzed up by the vinegary ponzu (citrus-based sauce) dressing swimming about the bottom of the dish. Seriously yummy!
Tuna tataki salad ($18)
What is this weird craze of “deconstructed” foods?! I’ve witnessed it with a salad at Fuku restaurant and a meringue at Bar One.
Anyway, the seared fresh tuna was lovely and meaty. We enjoyed the unusual combination of fish, yuzu (citrus fruit) crème fraîche, and poached pear with balsamic dressing. There were also cherry tomato pieces and a few green leaves. It was fun tasting the random globs of wasabi mayo and spicy miso, but the beetroot purée was a little weird. Contrary to the menu description, we didn’t spot any watermelon or chives, but fortunately the dish still tasted great!
Salmon aburi ($15)
Our second entrée was 3 pieces of nigiri sushi, made with torched salmon belly (aburi). I long for the silky oily texture and delicate flavour of aburi which I can enjoy without any fanfare (eg. with wasabi and soy sauce at Jun), or in a delicious sushi combination (eg. from the degustation at Marumo). The chefs at Midori smothered the lovely silky pieces of salmon with a sea of Japanese mayo and teriyaki sauce. Anything tastes good with that much sauce, but I was still disappointed. Also this dish arrived with only yuzu caviar and standard orange caviar, which meant we missed out on the unusual balsamic caviar and beetroot caviar that we were promised.
Pork belly ($26)
The twice cooked pork belly was tender and well-prepared. We enjoyed the tasty caramel miso and ginger salsa, plus the slivers of pickled carrot and radish. Micro herbs are a ridiculously pretentious way of saying that the herbs were picked when they were still young and tiny. Not sure why the menu bothered to list this garnish, but leave out the fact there were crunchy tempura bits sprinkled on top!
Rib eye steak ($36)
Here is a steak that is worthy of its name! The meat was juicy, tender, and cooked perfectly to medium-rare as we requested. Mmmm I loved the huge chunk of wasabi butter on top. It was fun to play around with the blobs of honey mustard, dijon mustard, and rosemary mustard. This dish was very Western and would barely fit the category of Asian-fusion, but it was delicious! One downside was the stupidly small serve of “seasonal vegetables”: two mouthfuls of zucchini, two tiny pieces of mushroom, and one sixth of an asparagus. What’s up with that?
Green tea (pot for $4)
The waiter told us that they only serve standard loose leaf green tea, which meant that I missed out on my favourite genmaicha (green tea with toasted rice). A little steep for a small pot, but I guess nobody else is really going to complain.
Service was attentive and prompt, despite the fact we were dining virtually alone upstairs on a quiet weekday. The restaurant is quite beautiful and the chairs were heaps comfy. Our meal for two people came to roughly $120 before the discount was applied. The regular prices are pretty steep so I’m unlikely to return to Midori except for a special occasion. For similar prices, I would still prefer to dine at my fav Asian-tapas restaurant The Bonsai which is just a couple of blocks away.
Likes: tasty well-presented food, good service, lovely restaurant interior
Dislikes: dishes that do not match menu descriptions
Value for money: pretty expensive (if you’re paying regular prices)
Overall: enjoyed the food but prices are too steep to return again soon
27 Lake St
(08) 9328 2177