Tempura Hajime

Tempura Hajime
60 Park St, South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
03 9696 0051

Ms VV and her family was visiting Melbourne and I was hoping to take her around for a feast!  Sadly I fell sick and this is the only place I managed to take her to.  Dr. Ben has been here for his birthday dinner before and raved about it, so I was looking forward to this feast.

There are only 12 seats in Tempura Hajime.  The seven of us booked this place 2 weeks in advance, thankfully there were seats available.  When we got in at 6:30pm, there was only the 7 of us, but by the time we left the place was full.

At dinner time there are  3 types of set menu- Tempura Set $75, Tempura and Sushi Set (7 pieces) $85 and Tempura and Sushi Set (10 pieces) $92.  Hubby, Ms VV and I chose the 7 piece Tempura and Sushi set, while the others chose the Tempura set.

Our appetitiser includes a yummy chicken salad flavoured with Japanese sesame sauce and really fresh sashimi with ocean trout and kingfish.  YUMMY

Next, you are given an individual plate on the counter, where all the tempuras are placed, and a tray in front of you where you have a plate for eating, some Murray River sea salt & Lemon combo and Tempura sauce.  They don’t tell you which sauce to dip which dish, so you can choose yourself.

Tempura time!!! First up- Tempura corn.  Bursting with sweetness, this fresh slab of corn was so yummy, I wish there is more of this!  Next up was tempura prawn.  Whilst I normally don’t like eating prawns, this prawn is super fresh and I ate it all.

Sweet potato was next.  I am not too sure why it’s not yellow or orangey, but this definitely taste like one.  I don’t particularly like this as it’s so stodgey.  We had a little break from the tempura and got some salad as a palette cleanser.  Thank god.  I am not too sure whether I can have that much tempura all in one go.

The next one I do like and can eat with/without salad ^^.  Although everything is starting to look exactly the same, this is actually a scallop with uni (sea urchin) in the middle and a bit of shiso leaf in the middle.  The shiso leaf help cut the fat and the scallop is perfectly cooked.  I can eat 10 of this if I could!

Next up was the tempura eel with a dollop of wasabi.  It was a bit too rich but the wasabi does help to cut the fattiness.  The tempura fish was very fresh and cooked to perfection, so the fish was succulent and juicy.

Our last tempura is a mushroom tempura stuffed with mashed prawns.  It was alright.  The mashed prawns wasn’t as yummy as the prawn we had before.

We had our sushi course next and I was taking photos of the chef making sushi… but now it seemed that photo taking was not allow… I am so confused.  I wasn’t sure whether he didn’t want us to take pics of him making sushi, or the sushi in general.  And why didn’t he say anything about the photos I took of tempura?  :/

Either way this is our last course which is the sushi.  There are some with raw fish and some that are blowtorched and every piece is fresh and yummy.

We were also given a small dessert to finish with, which looked like some sort of yoghurt pannacotta.  I didn’t like this pannacotta at all as it tasted like some fake juice.  I had a little bit and pushed it away.

Overall, I do like Tempura Hajime, although I must say I am not a huge fan of eating so much tempura in one go.  All the tempura was fresh and cooked to perfection.  The batter was light and not too oily at all, which is what good tempura should be.  Portion-wise, I don’t think it’s very value for money- hubby and my friends are barely full and a felt slightly embarrassed since I was the one who took them there… I hope they didn’t have to run around to find supper afterwards >.<  7/10

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