Hawthorn VIC 3122
Ph: (03) 9819 4858
It was Nelly's birthday, and since she had already done like one hundred different birthday dinners with various friends (she's so popular haha), we decided to go and do a simple dinner. Samurai came up as a suggestion, as a few people had been and had confirmed that it was good.
Samurai is your small takeaway/dining restaurant in the 'burbs. It sure has a good following, with a no reservation policy meaning there are literally people queueing up to get in. I can see why after having dined there.
So while Nelly got there nice and early to bag a table, the rest of us slowly trickled in. Most of us were quite good and I was actually one of the last to get there, being only 10 minutes late. I had an excuse as I brought in a massive tub of Magnolia Bakery's Chocolate Cupcakes for Nelly. Elliot however, had no excuse, going to Sakura in Glen Waverley instead of Samurai. Apparently, he even got there early and waited twenty minutes to find no one had arrived. We ordered for him while he drove from Glen Waverley.
The menu has quite a few options, with the best value being the dinner set, which at $15 gets you food and drinks/dessert. Go for the drink, as it's basically a massive cup of green tea ice cream, which is deesert but a lot more of it. Here's a tip, ask for it in a takeaway cup as you definitely won't finish it during dinner. You then get a choice of soup, an entree and a mains. What fantastic value is that.
The food itself is really good. I chose the miso soup, gyoza, teriayki chicken, green tea thickshake for my meal. We all had some sushi and sashimi to share. The soups all had nice clean flavours. The entrees, such as gyoza, potato croquettes, tempura prawns, tofu and chicken skewers were all good. The mains varied from ok to excellent. The Seafood Udon was delicious, with the Beef and Chicken Teriayki passable. However, the Curry Chicken was sensational. I must get that all to myself next time. We all sucked on our ridiculously thick drinks and got brain freezes.
After the meal, Nelly was generous enough to share her cupcakes with everyone. We must have looked so silly, standing around in the street eating cupcakes and talking for an hour.
The service in the restaurant was good for such a busy place. Requests for more napkins, cups, chopsticks and tea were quickly met. The atmosphere in the small restaurant is buzzing. The noise level is quite loud but not so that you can't hear. It's not the place that you would linger around for a long time as others are waiting for a table, but it's fantastic for a short-ish meal.
Food, as I mentioned, is good and for the price, excellent value for money.
Overall Rating: 14/20, Good Japanese food giving excellent value for money.
Scores: 1-9: Unacceptable, don't bother. 10-11: Just OK,some shortcomings. 12: Fair. 13: Getting there. 14: Recommended. 15: Good. 16: Really good. 17: Truly excellent. 18: An outstanding experience. 19-20:Approaching perfection, Victoria's best.