Yayoi Teishoku Restaurant

One Friday, the Mongolian and I were racking our brains for a healthy feed after work. The emphasis on healthy because the next day was my firm’s end of financial year ball, and I had a skirt a size too small to fit into. We were about to go home defeated when I remembered Yayoi which appeared in my Instagram feed. It looked wholesome enough so we braved the chilly winds to Bridge Street.

Although it was a Friday night and it was relatively full, we were seated within 5 minutes of arriving. The waitress gave us menus to peruse and an iPad to order our food. The Mongolian has wanted to introduce me to plum wine for ages now, so the waitress also helped us decide which delicious, sweet and rich wine to order.

Yayoi is a restaurant chain from Japan and specialises in set menus / bento sets. Each set comes with a special rice cooker which cooks the rice in front of you on your table and takes about 25 minutes to produce edible rice. The set itself is timed so that it comes approximately when your rice is ready.

If you’re worried about what to do during the 25 minutes it takes for your food to cook, may I recommend people watching. The Mongolian and I took joy observing a waiter who had the most abundant and extravagant facial expressions, he was like a comedian. Either that or order an entree to kill time.

The salmon sashimi salad from the Ippin menu came with a delicious sweet and tangy dressing. They were stingy with salmon and way too on the raw onion.
Because the Mongolian was starving, we ordered a salmon sashimi salad from the Ippin menu (I’m guessing ippin means something akin to entree) to fill his stomach while our rice cooked. You can just make out dark orange blobs scattered on our plate – that’s the dashi jelly that was SOOO tasty! It also came with a delicious sweet and tangy dressing. However, I thought they were stingy with salmon (just 6 pieces!) and way too generous with the raw onion.
Rice cooked in front of us with what looks a candle. 25 minutes later, it's ready and a waiter served it for us. It was more translucent than normal medium grain rice and was a bit more chewy (like glutenous rice). Those are if you really concentrate on its characteristics. All in all, it wasn't too different from a bowl of rice from your local Japanese restaurant.
Before and after of the rice: cooked in front of us with what looks a candle and 25 minutes later. It was more translucent than normal medium grain rice and was a bit more chewy (like glutinous rice). But unless you really concentrated, you probably won’t find it too dissimilar from a bowl of rice from your local Japanese restaurant.
Wagyu sukiyaki teishoku
Wagyu sukiyaki teishoku – the wagyu beef hotpot has beef (not a lot), udon noodles, konjac noodles (super healthy!) and tofu all cooked in a sweet soup. The Mongolian likened it to candy syrup. There’s a small side of boiled spinach with seseme oil (top middle) which was deliciously and pungently fragrant and the same miso soup as mine (below).
Pork fillet katsu toji
Pork fillet katsu toji. I was a bit disappointed with my katsu fillets, which were chewy and tough. The egg omelette underneath was also too sweet for my liking and once again inundated with onionsI was impressed with the chikuzen stew (top right hand corner) – it was very light and had a beautiful, strong shitake mushroom flavour. I also liked the miso soup which came chock-a-block full of vegetables (but no onions!) which made it interesting and made me feel healthy)

Both our mains were too sweet; even though I was initially tempted by their matcha mochi dessert, I felt like my dessert had been integrated into my main. Perhaps that’s why both of us had a side of salty pickles on our trays, because I actually used it to balance out the sweetness of my eggs.

Anyway, it was a bit of a healthy meal fail. I probably should have ordered a fish set rather than something fried, or come on a day when I wasn’t going to be worried about squeezing into an outfit…

Yayoi Japanese Teishoku Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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