Richmond, VIC 3121
Ph: 9428 3918
I've wanted to go to Maedaya for a while now. I love any type of BBQ and my friend Nelly kept telling me how great Maedaya was and how she is constantly eating there. Also, Maedaya does a big range of sake, which I really love. So one night, 8 of us went to Maedaya to sample the food. I believe that you can only book for a large group in the upstairs dining area and that has a slightly different menu to the downstairs dining area. Whereas you can only get the yakitori and tapas in the downstairs area, you can order the BBQ upstairs. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.
As we walk through the downstairs area, I notice how it's setup for small groups. Orders are made and then prepped by the open kitchen that dominates the small long room. As you go upstairs, the dining area is very bare with big long wooden tables that can sit multiple groups. The setup with the large table help to facilitate the sharing that the menu demands. We start our meal by ordering some sake (I can't remember which one) to share. The sake was really good and was a sweeter type, served cold as we wanted. We shared 3 serves of the Sashimi Salad, which was really fresh and delicious. It was also huge and great value for money. The Beef Tataki was quite nice too, with the meat tender and sauce sharp.
The main event was the BBQ Meat and Yakitori. A couple of serves of the Maedaya Platter and various items such as Ox Tongue, Pork Belly, Chicken Thigh, Pork Loin, Beef Topside and Beef Rump were grilled on the coal fired BBQ. The staff come and help you turn the meat but as it gets busier, you'll have to tend to the meat yourself sometimes. All the items were delicious, and I really liked the ox tongue, pork belly and beef rump. Lots of yakitori were also consumed by our group. Various types of chicken, pork and beef were served on skewers for easy consumption. Surprisingly, the cheese bacon rolls weren't that great, but the chicken thigh skewers were delicious.
Look at Eliott with his winning smile and new camera.
With dessert, we basically got everything on the menu. The Taiyaki looked beautiful and got oooohs from everyone when it arrived. Unfortunately it was probably the weakest dessert. It was very dry and didn't taste very good. Instead the Soy Milk Pannacotta was sensational. Smooth, creamy and a good level of sweetness. You can't go wrong with an assortment of ice cream and the Trifle had good lashing of ice cream amongst cream, fruit and red bean. The Daifuku was quite good, with a strawberry and red bean flavour available. The Dango (sweet rice cake) was hard and dry and no one liked it. We did love the Green Tea Jelly things. I'm not sure what it was called by they were like Turkish delights but with a green tea flavour.
The service was friendly and good. As with most Japanese restaurants, all requests were serviced with a polite bow and smile. The atmosphere in the upstairs area was buzzing. It was full of boisterous laughter and people enjoying their food. The space could feel a bit empty with the very sparse layout but with people packed in there, it feels very cosy.
The food is fairly simple stuff, but very tasty. Obviously the BBQ relies on good quality meats and I think that it is. There are good yakitoris and lots of tapas, hot pots and salads. I really liked some of the desserts, which are a bit different to the usual serving of just ice cream. The price is very fair and I would definitely go back to try more food and sake.
Overall Rating: 15/20, Good BBQ meats, great salads and a huge range of sake.
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.