33 Dukes Walk, South Wharf, Melbourne
03 9245 9900
Having such great success visiting The Sharing House the other night, I dragged hubby to Akachochin to check out the Jap sushi and izakaya bar at South Wharf. Japanese can be tricky as person following the FODMAP diet, or even a gluten or wheat free diet, because the soy sauce they use in Japanese cuisine are made with wheat (man, I am not even gonna think about Chinese food!). I even brought my own wheat free soy sauce (tamari) just in case. I haven’t gotten down pat how I can explain FODMAPs to cafes and restaurants, so I figured I will start off with gluten free and I can navigate the maze of my other dietary requirements myself.
As I tentatively spoke to the waiter about my wheat free requirements, the waiter pointed at the soy sauce jugs in front of me and said “the white one is tamari, a wheat free soy sauce”. I was so grateful I almost cried. Then he proceed to tell me which dishes are gluten free, which unfortunately did not include the dish I spotted on the menu- grilled scallops and sea urchin with curry sauce. SADNESS. It might help if the menu indicates gluten free somehow, as knowledgeable as the waiter was, I got lost halfway through and had to ask what is gluten free when I am ordering :P (old age I know).
What I stupidly thought was an OK drink for FODMAPs diet I got it wrong though. I ordered a sake slushy thing $14, checked that it is indeed gluten free, but when it comes out it’s actually a sake plum wine slushy… plum has a shitload of fructose I think… DOH :( Although stupidly tasty, my tummy is paying for it a little bit as I type :P On a side note, Hubby ordered a beer and it got plonked down in front of him without being poured. Readers, if you go to these restaurants do you expect your drinks to be poured or is my hubby a little prissy?
Anyhoo back to the food. We ordered a series of gluten free and non gluten free dishes (for hubby). I think due to its sharing style philosophy, the dishes came out one by one, expecting us to share. Unfortunately all my dishes came out first, and unfortunately have to share it with hubby while he wait for his food. Good that I ordered enough for both of us. First came the salmon & avocado roll, no onion ($10). The roll was good- as expected from a Japanese sushi bar.
Hotate Scallop sushi $7 and Kani (crab) sushi $9 came next, the Kani was sweet and meaty, although I did find a small piece of shell in my sushi. The scallop sushi on the other hand was not very fresh.
Wagyu yaki $18 was my next dish and they especially accommodated me by not using terriyaki and simply using salt and pepper. The grilled wagyu beef was very tender and flavoursome and there is an option to use the 7-spice powder in front of you if you want some chilli ooompph. There are also a few pieces of grilled mushrooms there, to ensure that it’s a healthy, balanced diet :P I ordered some rice ($4) with the wagyu yaki but it didn’t arrive. We waited a bit and then asked for it. Thankfully it came almost immediately and it was a huge serving.
At this point in time, we found it pretty weird that the sashimi moriawase that Hubby had ordered still haven’t appeared, along with his other dishes. But anyway, more food arrived and still all my orders, we got Zucchini Mustard Yaki $12. This is something I didn’t really want to order but I was scared I will be hungry. Turns out I am pretty full by then but nonetheless I quite like this dish. The zucchini was nicely cooked (if not slightly huge) and was dosed with Japanese mayo (yum), mustard and miso. I had to exercise a LOT of self-control not to chuck the whole stack of mustard/miso/mayo on my rice and eat it.
That’s pretty much all I ordered, then it was hubby’s turn. Unfortunately I could just look on while he devoured the Grilled Curry Salted Scallops and Sea Urchin $15. Hubby found the sauce a bit salty and overpowered the delicate scallops and sea urchin. He liked the nori crisps that accompanies the dish and dumped the sauce onto the rice.
Then we waited, and waited and waited for the deep fried quail and sashimi. Eventually someone did came and check and I think they forgot our sashimi. =_= Either way the deep fried quail $19 came first which is deconstructed into 3 bits. A potato cake filled with quail, perfectly cooked quail egg and 2 pieces of quail thigh. Looking at the egg I certainly have a huge dose of food envy.
FINALLY the sashimi came, 9 pieces for $32. The scallop this time wasn’t too bad, I think the lemon slice helped the cause. The ocean trout and kingfish was good and the pieces were quite thick and large. I was very disappointed with the tuna though, the texture just felt mushy and off. I also find a small bone in the kingfish sashimi. :(
I decided to skip dessert but hubby ordered the pannacotta $14, we did ask them to give it to us ASAP as we are running off to see Magic Mike at Crown (OMG the HAWT BODIES! I digress). The pannacotta came out very quickly and we even managed to take a video of the seseame pannacotta wobbling sexily for Dr. Ben. *ahem* Not that he is a sexual deviant, he just love wobbling pannacottas… hrmmmm
Anyhoo, Hubby said he would give his dessert a 5/10. Although it’s pretty, I tried a tiny bit and it was too sweet for my liking. Hubby did say the sesame tuille (which he had consumed in one go) and strawberries would have diffused the sweetness, but I certainly did not have dessert envy this time.
I want to like Akachochin, but with the missing dishes, long wait for dishes, some average dishes, I can’t give it more than a 6/10.
Anyone with dietary requirements should check with their doctor and work with the cafe/ restaurant owners to determine whether the food is suitable for them. Cafe/Restaurants that offer “gluten free” or food suited to your requirements MAY NOT guarantee there are no cross-contamination. Please check with the cafe/ restaurant owner if this concerns you.