106 Cambridge Street, Collingwood
03 9417 0886
- Hamachi Asari
- Kara Age Special
- Sumibi Steak
The Nibitashi would’ve been spectacular if not for the terrible imbalance in flavours. The soft, gooey eggplant was divine in and of itself, contrasted by it’s slightly crispy skin. However, the soy vinegar and ginger broth was insanely tangy and sour, so much so that it overwhelmed the eggplant itself.
Our Hamachi Asari was perhaps the polar opposite of the above dishes. The broth was exceptionally light and definitely lacking in flavour. While the kingfish itself was perfectly cooked and just melted away in your mouth, the bold, fishy sensation felt disproportionate to the rest of the unseasoned veggies and mushrooms.
A similar theme occurred with the Kara Age Special. Fried chicken is usually pretty difficult to screw up, but Aka Siro managed just that. The batter was fried to a good crunch, though the chicken itself was a tad overdone. The worst part though was once again the chives and vinegar sauce, which on this occasion wasn’t so much as tangy but so insanely, overwhelmingly sweet. Sweet chicken just doesn’t, and will never work.
The Sumibi Steak, being the most expensive item on the menu, didn’t impress either. The thin cut of meat wasn’t of high quality, characterised by disparate lumps of protein and fat and desperately needing the honey soy sauce and wasabi for flavour. This dish was also served last and more importantly luke warm.
We arrived at Aka Siro with much anticipation and such high expectations. Unfortunately, despite the quality produce used, the execution of all our dishes were sorely disappointing, universally lacking in balance and finesse.
Coupled with an “izakaya” style menu featuring servings sizes that are less than generous, coupled with cold, nonchalant service, this was definitely a thoroughly unimpressive and costly mistake.
Would Penguin Eat Again?
While we acknowledge that we should at least give the lunch menu a go, this experience was so disappointing that we won’t even consider a revisit.