Bentoya is a Japanese restaurant in the heart of Melbourne, this is one of the most “Coupon”/ “Voucher” pre-ordered banquet restaurant I’ve came across. Half the people who come in here have pre-ordered vouchers, which does include two free drinks. I don’t know if this is a good business idea but even on a Monday evening they are filled with customers. It’s a small simple restaurant with two outdoor tables, and a black and red themed interior, nothing Japanesey, except for the sake bottle, plates, bowls and chopsticks.
A small portion of chilled sashimi came out next, it was very fresh, however am not a fan of raw food (besides veggies), if you went with someone who loves raw sashimi you may need to re-order.
I’ve heard sometimes they over-fry their Gyoza, but ours came out perfect, the Gyoza skin was crunchy not chewy and just thin enough (some Gyoza I’ve had, had really thick skin, personally hate that) which incorporated well with the pork, garlic and ginger flavour. The drizzled sauce wasn’t salt, very well seasoned. If you love it four a platter may not be enough for two.
Takoyaki: fried flour octopus balls, the special sauce and mayo were great but some balls lacked octopus and some were just fried flour balls. I’m also happy they shredded white cabbage to go with the dish.
Sorry guys don’t know what this was but it tasted like raw finely sliced beef marinated in sauce and seasoned with sesame. I hate raw beef, I hate this dish, but on the other hand my Mr. finished it. The portion was small, I don’t know if that meant he liked it or not?
Vegetable tempura, in this case it was pumpkin, potato and taro slices, dipped in batter and fried until golden, the dressing was exactly the same as the Takoyaki balls but they added salted dried chillie sprinkles on top.
Buta Nabe Udon: it’s some egg noodle in miso soup with some seaweed, chopped spring onion and boiled meat pieces. It was salty for my taste buds, but I did like the Udon noodle because it wasn’t floury and it boiled to nice chewy consistency which didn’t leave a pasty smashed up taste in the mouth.
Yakitori: well marinated chargrilled teriyaki chicken on a skewer. If you enjoy sweeter marinated meat, it’s just a tad sweeter then the usual, and not salty.
Bentoya Signature dish: medium-rare char grilled porterhouse steak in goma dressing, with pickled seaweed, fried onion and chunky salad. Personally its not a must have, its hard to get steak perfect, this was a little drying even with the dressing, but luckily the salad compromised well with the boring meaty taste.
Japanese Mochi for Dessert: a traditional sweet bean paste/ green tea paste with soft smooth shell made from glutinous rice. Too soft for my likings, but my Mr. liked it, this is his type of dessert (hope he doesn’t like girls as soft as that hehehe).
Overall for what we paid it was a satisfying experience. I would recommend next time when there’s a voucher buy it and reserve a table just for the experience. I love the service here they are all very accommodating and hospitable
115 hardware street
melbourne VIC 3000
t +61 3 9642 1136
Open: lunch and Dinner
Monday to Friday