Hungry like Okami

Okami Japanese Restaurant

147 Station Street Fairfield

(Visited December ’18)

It was mid-December, and KK was the name of the game! Yes siree folks, the 2018 Christmas shin-dig with us girls had arrived and we were nice and early in December for a catch up, even managing to book the place weeks in advance! Why, I never!

The place you ask? It was Okami in Fairfield, an all-you-can-eat Japanese restaurant. The massive drawcard for this place on Station Street, was not just it’s visible location, but the fact that it was $32.80 for everything…

Like, ALL YOU CAN EAT.

Why do we get so excited when we hear those four words, why? I mean, there is only so much we CAN eat, and yet the thought of unlimited food, without limitations…

As a species, we are awfully simple, and awfully stupid.

So let’s see how many courses we got through, shall we?

We were there for the 7:30 session. We started off getting some drinks of which was the classic Umeshu, Japanese Plum Wine.

With an actual plum inside! We all dabbled in this, and it was that kind of sickly sweet type of alcohol that still went to our heads.

Here are the dishes we went for, and shared between us all:

Edamame Beans… I learnt how to eat them that night.. you take the long bean between your teeth, pull the little beans out and suck.

🤣

We also had prawn and vegetable gyozas… mmm so good.

Vegetable spring rolls.

Potato croquettes.

There was also the octopus balls… oh God no. They are the round balls in the spring rolls photo, and let me tell you I had NONE of those. I can’t even look at them without – ugh.

Those were our starters.

For mains, we got the chicken katsu, along with the sides of fried rice and steamed rice (latter dishes not pictured).

My friend also got the sushi and sashimi platter… here is a photo for the sake of looking at food.

My personal faves? The gyozas, and the chicken katsu. So yummy and crunchy.

It was a great night, what with KKs happening, festive paper flying over the table as we unwrapped presents, and lots of girly squeals and laughter.

What the hell. We would do dessert too.

There wasn’t a whole lot on the menu for the sweet stuff, just ice cream flavours… and I didn’t want the green tea or black sesame variety, so I went for plain old vanilla.

Just like my adjectives there, it was fairly plain and old, nothing really amazing to be honest. I ate it but it was clear that although they knew how to do their Japanese dishes… the desserts didn’t have any wow factor.

We all paid the bill, not split though (see note below) and headed on out to fill up Station Street with much more festive love and laughter.

Food: 7.5/10. Most of the dishes were yum, but the ice cream was meh.

Coffee: N/A.

Ambience: Noisy, busy! It was a Saturday night in December, so close to Christmas… can you imagine? Lost of groups getting together for pre-Christmas shin-digs, friends, families… the lot.

People: Like I said, the lot. Older people, younger people, and everyone in between.

Staff: Really friendly. Our waiter was lovely and tended to all our very pressing questions about like, how many pieces of gyoza do you get in a serve? What exactly is in an octopus ball? And do you split the bill? (See below!)

Price: So as I already mentioned, $32.80, all you can eat! Not including drinks, my plum wine was $9 for a 900ml glass. These are likely to have changed since our outing there, so check their website, or call, to avoid disappointment at the counter.

Advice: So, going by my many clues to split bills… there are no split bills! Half of us took a walk before dessert time to find an ATM on Station Street so we could all pay together… so really, if you are going in a group and there isn’t one person shouting, make sure you have $$$ on you.

Also, book ahead, especially for busy times and days. Our session was booked a whole month in advance… be prepared!

In a nutshell: I quite liked the vibe and atmosphere of this Japanese restaurant. I enjoy the premise of little meals where you can have a bit of this, and a bit of that… you get to try everything, and with company. I would go for more katsu (tummy rumbling just thinking about it) and gyoza, mmm, love me some gyoza!

So, I guess the only main thing to note is that when you go, like their name loosely translates… be hungry like a wolf.

Okami Japanese Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Ex-stuz mi?

Stuzzi
325 High Street Northcote

(Visited November ’17)

I had been to this Northcote café a few times before, each time there meeting a certain group of chicks for a much-needed catch-up.

It had been years since the last visit. But not much had changed.

It was our annual KK catch-up that had me heading on over after a long day out with Hubbie and baby girl, and the company was the same, my old high school friends.

The original, and the BEST.

It was a hot night, and being free of child for the occasion, I was first to arrive. Sure, things had been revamped and done up a bit. I was seated on a medium-sized table alongside the bar in the middle of the café interior. There weren’t many people about, so I sat and watched waitresses meander around, assisting those who needed food and drink, all the while waiting for the Friday night influx on this November day.

Yep, we were killing the KK catch-up, hitting it up mid-November. The shin-dig thing-a-ma-jig was early, but we had to, you know, find time amidst our very busy lives and all.

It’s a modern café, with a couple of large TVs on either side of the walls for all to watch. Nothing inspiring, but still on trend. I checked out the local news, while I ordered myself a drink during the wait for my gal-pals…

Summer Squeeze – watermelon, orange and pineapple

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This was refreshing, and had me feeling the soon-to-be Summer vibe.

It wasn’t long until I was joined by one friend, and then another, and another, and then another, and then we were right and ready, in amongst chatting and laughing and hilarious youtube videos, to finally order.

We opened our KK pressies and had a grand old time doing so, and then soon after, our meals arrived.

I got the Stuffed Chicken Breast – Whole chicken breast stuffed with prosciutto, bocconcini, sun-dried tomato, served with mashed potato, broccolini, topped with a honey and creamy seeded mustard sauce

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My meal was adequate, perhaps to be expected from a café of that type. Appealing to the masses, huge variety of choice on the menu, but perhaps more a jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none type café. My chicken was huge, and as one friend observed about the chicken meals on the table “these chickens are on steroids.” Enough said.

I didn’t notice anything other than tomato stuffed in the chicken – the prosciutto was on the top, and the cheese was possibly in there as well. It was sitting atop mounds of mashed potato, and though I love my carbs, the ‘steroid chicken’ comment had me feeling slightly off, plus it tasted a bit tough. I ate a decent amount of it, but just couldn’t eat it all, making sure I had at least eaten the broccolini. Get those greens in. Thank God for them, or else it all would have looked too beige. I would have rather a smaller, succulent chicken, than one taking pills to be on Gladiator. Also, it was swimming in the mustard sauce, and suddenly everything, not just the chicken, felt overdone.

Big meals were all around the table, and they seemed to be okay… but one friend observed a ‘problem’ with the table parmesan, and that’s all I will say for the sake of being respectful… but it was quickly rectified from our smiley and happy waitress.

The company and conversation far outweighed any food or drink we had that night – but still, it wasn’t as cool as what I remembered it, and nothing to make me wanna come back for in a rush either.

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Food: 5/10. Nothing incredible, but it satisfied my dinner craving. The steroid chicken kind of ended it for me. The fresh juice was the best thing I had that night.

Coffee: N/A.

Ambience: A chilled and relaxed catch-up vibe amongst friends, as we weren’t the only ones on that Friday night catching up in a large group. Casual surrounds on the city outskirts meant it was cruisy, but things were constant, too.

People: Generally a “friends” type crowd… lots of groups, not so much families, and a eating-before-heading-out-later-on-to-party crowd too.

Staff: They were pleasant. Our waitress was the smiliest, others were doing their job. Nothing bad, but nothing overly-friendly either.

Price: Just under $40 for my meal and drink. The price of the meal served the quantity, but sadly not the quality.

Advice: This place will probably do you if you need to catch up in the area with friends, hence our night…

Also, there is parking out the back that leads directly into the rear of the café, so try that first, or else you will need to look for parking along High street at peak hour time – so let’s just say arrive early.

In a nutshell: I think this place didn’t amaze me only because I have had so much better restaurant/café meals since my early visits there so many years ago. It has a vast menu that caters to many, but that is essentially all.

It’s nothing overly bad… but nothing overly inspiring either.

Sorry Stuzzi… nothing ‘appetising’ about coming back here anytime soon.

Stuzzi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato