Maedaya, Richmond

7 Jul

Highlight – Large selection of dishes

Lowlight – No bookings policy

Wagyu tataki

Wagyu tataki

Maedaya tsukune yakitori set

Maedaya tsukune yakitori set

Tuna sashimi with mayo

Tuna sashimi with mayo

FOOD?

We arrived at 6pm on a Saturday night as we thought this would be early enough to reserve a table in the downstairs area. There are different menus for upstairs and downstairs; upstairs is a lot smokier due to the cooking on the grills compared to the downstairs area with no grills and a menu variety less focused on yakitori.

When we first arrived we were told there would be a half hour wait for a table downstairs. As such we ventured to The Collection Bar for $10 cocktails as suggested by our BarBait iPhone app. By the time we ordered our drinks a table freed up at Maedaya.

To start we ordered a bottle of sake and a several dishes. This quickly went and we had to order a handful more. Some of my favourites were the beef tataki and tuna sashimi that were cooked perfectly and melted in your mouth upon each bite (although the tuna was drenched in sesame oil). Mushrooms were super juicy and the soft shell crab was always going to be a winner! Not quite sure about the okonomiyaki, yes it was full of flavour but the texture was more gooey than one would expect – no way near as yummy as the one I ate in Hiroshima.

Overall the food was traditionally Japanese (besides the Korean bibimbap available on the menu?) and well presented. Time between dishes was not too bad considering the restaurant was so busy. I would return to Maedaya but only if I was after more of light meal and drinks.

SERVICE?

Staff were not overly friendly, just quiet and obliging. Dishes were not delivered with any explanations unless asked by us.

AMBIENCE?

Unfortunately we were seated in a table of four right next to the door on a Melbourne Winter’s night. As such, each time the door opened (approx. once every 10 minutes) the chilly wind came rushing in, blowing my hair into my food and annoying the crap out of me! Seriously, don’t sit at the table near the front door during Winter! The door is heavy which meant patrons couldn’t be bothered closing it after they came in/out.

Other than that, the restaurant is bustling with patrons. Being so popular many customers are happy to put their name down to reserve a table and wait patiently along the front wall of the restaurant, making Maedaya even busier than it already is.

VALUE?

I don’t think you can quite call Maedaya a ‘Cheap Eat’ venue unless you’re only after a few nibbles and drinks. Even though prices are reasonable as all items on the menu range from about $5 to $15, they do all end up adding up! We ordered 11 dishes plus sake between four people and easily had room for dessert afterwards.

BOOKINGS?

Being a small venue it is unfortunate that Maedaya does not accept bookings for less than 5 people. It is best to rock up as early as possible (before 6pm), put your name down on the wait list and have a drink at a nearby bar whilst waiting for a table to free up.

7

out of 10!

Maedaya
400 Bridge Road, Richmond VIC 3121
03 9428 3918 

 Maedaya on Urbanspoon

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