190 Park St
(03) 9699 4574
The usual sushi takeaway places in Melbourne displays neat rows after rows of sushi rolls. The popular ones are teriyaki chicken rolls, california rolls, avocado rolls, beef teriyaki rolls and the list goes on. And the usual little Japanese restaurants that we know and love usually serve pretty bento boxes. Origami is one of the Japanese cheap eats in this area but is not your typical Japanese restaurant or take away that we are accustomed to. The menu here is simple and they are only opened Mon – Fri from 11.30 – 2.30pm.
Actually there is no menu, food is served from the counter. The food is all cooked and prepped in a little back kitchen and this place is run by 2 old Japanese couple. The sushi and sashimi resides on one end and on the other, the cooked food like chicken teriyaki, beef curry, tempura and deep fried chicken and potato balls.
I keep missing out on the popular prawn tempura. One has to be early and so I settled for the fish tempura which looks more like the fish & chips version than the crispy and somewhat fluffy exterior tempura that we are used to. A soy sauce was given to accompany the fish. It may not look good but I like the fact that it was a thin batter that wrapped the firm white flesh. This was $2.50 well spent. I have to remember to get here early to try the prawn tempura next time.
I ordered the vegetarian tempura and was quite disappointed. The tempura was quite soggy. Maybe it has been sitting there was ages. Whatever the reason is, I hope that it was a one off. But I doubt I will order this again.
You have a choice of either noodles or rice with the chicken teriyaki. I am not sure what to make of this. It is not offensive but this is definitely catered for the Australian taste buds. Mixed reviews on this. Some colleagues love it and found it tasty and I, on the other hand, found it rather bland. It seems like it was made using the pre-packed teriyaki mix found in Asian groceries.
The Origami sushi box was a little pricey but I felt that the seafood was fresh in comparison to many local takeaway sushi places around this area. I like the generous serving of pickled ginger and no extra charge for additional wasabi when I asked very politely.
The food here is nothing spectacular but it does have a sense of quirkiness. There are few tasty joints that lined Clarendon street that satisfy my tastebuds. I am not a food snob but I do prefer if I was served Japanese by Japanese.
What does Japanese food mean to you?