Armadale, VIC 3143
Ph: (03) 9822 9571
Website: Aya Japanese
When my friend Adrian was coming down from Sydney for a weekend, Justin and myself decided to meet up with him for dinner at Aya Japanese. I had been to Aya Japanese previously and thought it was good value for money since you can use the Entertainment Book card. This still holds true, and although the food is still quite good, I don't rate it as highly as my first dining experience there.
The food at Aya is quite basic Japanese food. They have sashim and sushi, with most of the common fish used and done to a decent quality. I used to think it was better, with more variety, but this time, they only had three types of fish on the Deluxe Sushi and Sashimi platter, which I thought was a bit disappointing.
The Agedashi Tofu, which I thought was really good last time, was still quite good. The tofu still had a nice crunchy exterior and the sauce was still a good match. The Soft Shell Crab dish is very simple but done well. I like the crnuch they got on the coating, and the sauce served was a nice counter balance with the tartness. The side salad was really good too, with a good tangy sauce.
Finally, the Eye Fillet Steak with wasabi mash was again very good, without being being innovative. But you don't always have to be innovative to be tasty. The beef was nicely tender, with a good soft mash laced with a hit of wasabi and a good sauce.
The service here was efficient, but we got our communication mixed up a little. We had asked for all the dishes to come out at once, and they agreed. However, when the tofu and soft shell crabs came out, we kept waiting for the rest of the food as we wanted to eat our diesh with rice. They seemed to not bring anything else out so eventually I asked what was happening. The waiter informed me that since there wasn't enough room on the table, they weren't bringing out any more food until we finished. So due to this stalemate, we had sat there for a good 15 minutes. I could see the funny side of it, but they could have let us know so we didn't just keep waiting. Aside from that, service was ok.
The ambience in the restaurant is quite relaxed but disjointed. The tables along the bar are all separated by partitions so you feel a bit separated, but at the same time it affords you some privacy. I'm not a fan of these high walled partitions in a restaurant as it really makes the restaurant feel cold, but others may prefer it.
Overall, I would still go back to Aya for some nice simple Japanese food. I don't rate it as highly as I used to, but still think it's good value for money for what food you get.
Overall Rating: 13/20, Food is simple and quite good. Good 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.