Cafe de KIKAKU
20 Waterview Walk, Docklands
(Ph) 9670 6828
Catch up with the dancing crew =D No one had any restaurants in mind so of course I consulted my Entertainment book - this cafe seemed to have quite good reviews on Urbanspoon so thought we'd check it out.
Cute little cafe, very high ceilings like it's an old warehouse, no central heating so they have those outdoor heaters inside! How funny though much appreciated on this super cold rainy night =)
Random Mexican looking candles on our table?
We decided to share some entrees and mains. The waitress also suggested we order this so we got it as well. Salmon Croquettes - Japanese Seven Spices Salmon Croquettes w Kimchi Aioli $10
Looked a bit small and lousy - 7 spices salmon? Really? Couldn't taste much spice at all, and the kimchi aioli didn't have much kimchi flavour either =/ Was quite nicely fried but nothing too special here at all - not sure why the waitress said this was super popular..
I wanted the Jalapeno Soft Shell Crab - Tempura soft shell crab w/ sour creme & housemade jalapeno jam $15
Quite generous with their crab but you'd expect that for a $15 entree. Perfectly fried but not too oily either, the sour creme and jalapeno jam was kinda separate, and the jalapeno was quite bitsy so kinda hard to dip it - in the end can't really taste it but I didn't mind don't like jalapeno much anyway =P The cured cucumber salad was quite a nice sweet yet tangy side dish which they gave on a few dishes.
T wanted the Salmon Belly Misozuke (very limited availability) - oven roasted 8 days white miso-aged salmon belly w/ aromatic grilled bamboo rice $16. We were kinda expecting it to not be available as I had read many reviews about them not having half their menu items available but everything we wanted on this night was available =)
Really it's been roasted for 8 days?! Plus minus a day or 2 maybe? The salmon was very soft and
nicely cured with miso - quite a unique way of cooking it, like it's been sous-vide =) The rice ball in the bamboo leave was a bit random though - didn't taste grilled at all, just tasted like sushi rice =/ Side of cucumber and kimchi again which was nice - so a mix of Japanese and Korean?!
For mains we got the N.Y. Galbi - Korean Style BBQ flame-grilled slowly braised beef short rib (please Google search our cafe what we are famous for or ask our loyal regular) $20
We were tossing between this or the Many hours roasted spices slow cooked BBQ Lamb Ribs, Balinese King Style (our specialty dish that requires you using hands to eat and lick as you finish) but the waitress said the beef ribs was more popular. Both of these seem to be popular dishes but they really don't need to put that in the brackets (for both the dishes!) - seems really lame and desperate =/ Though, this beef rib was so tender and soft and full of flavour - sweet yet tangy. There was no bones in it at all so I don't know how they can call it ribs but anyway - definitely a recommended dish! Cucumber and kimchi again here =P
C wanted the Bon-bon Chicken - our famous Korean version of sticky sweet and sour chicken glazed with Kochujang Red Pepper & juiced up with chunky Green Apple $19
Fried chicken! Cute presentation on a little steam basket (it's actually upside down so there wasn't as much chicken as we thought there'd be =P) not sure where the chunky green apple was but it was delicious without it. Though this wasn't fried as well as the other fried dishes - the crumb came off the chicken very easily =/ The sweet and sour sauce was quite flavoursome but was a bit too thick for my liking.
Thought we'd get some carbs dishes too to fill us up. GYUTAN Fried Rice - garlic chilli marinated OX Tongue, Egg, Negi Onion, smoked Japanese Bonito shavings $18.8
We were really looking forward to the ox tongue in the fried rice but they were cut into such small pieces could barely taste it's ox tongue =/ If you forget it's ox tongue fried rice this was quite flavoursome - I like the bonito shavings on top.
Last came the Bangkok Pad Thai - noodle, chicken, egg, smoked chilli roasted peanut toasted dried baby shrimp floss $17
Bit of Japanese, bit of Korean, why not a bit of Thai too? Served on an Indian curry metal bowl lol. Thought there was only meant to be chicken in it but there was some sort of red meat in it too - so they chuck whatever leftover meat they have into the pad thai as well? Flavours were quite good, there was surprisingly more meat than noodles for my liking, and there wasn't any bean shoots =( random 2 prawn crackers? =P
We were pretty full by the end of it, but T had bought a Brunetti's cake for dessert for us to celebrate 3 birthdays (belated and early =P) The waitress asked if if we wanted the dessert menu, we said no 'cause we had cake, but she sees that we had finished eating but didn't bother to clear our table =/ We kept chatting 'cause we were pretty full and she doesn't come to clear the table until we ask her again and to bring out the cake. She finally clears our table and brings the cake out... still in its box and it's bag?! O_O we stared at her then she asks if we want some small plates... we stare at her some more and then she asks if we wanted the cake on a plate... and if we wanted candles O_O omg why else would we bring a cake to a restaurant if we didn't want to eat it there?! The thing is, the table next to us were also celebrating a birthday and the waitress had brought the cake out with candles and everything just before we asked for ours... what the?! She takes about 10mins before bringing out the cake with some candles and some small spoons for us... we sang "Happy Birthday" and blew the candles before we realised she hadn't given us a knife O_O did she expect us to cut the cake with tiny spoons?! We asked her for a knife and she looked at us like we were asking something unusual, goes into the kitchen and asks the chef for a knife... who gives her a HUGE knife (like a 40cm knife)... omg we were cutting the cake like it was a sword =/
Cake was good though =P some lemon white chocolate cake from Brunetti's =) the chocolate pieces surrounding the cake were so deceiving, they were yellow but tasted just of white chocolate - we were expecting it to have some lemon flavour or something! A bit too much cream on the top for my liking but the cake was very moist with some lemon mousse-like layers between too =)
6/10 - foods not quite fusion, actually, they call themselves "pan asian" whatever that means =P the beef ribs and the soft shell crab are definite musts =)
2/5 - quite a casual chilled restaurant to hang out, more heaters around us would be even better it was freezing on this night!
1/5 - omg unbelievable service by the waitress.. dunno what was going through her mind =/