Whilst I'd eaten at Gekkazan countless times (in fact that was my very first ever blog post!), this was the first time I'd dined at the original Kenzan. Kenzan is truly one of the iconic Melbourne dining institutions, having been opened since 1982, and still standing tall with its high quality food and service. We had a last minute dinner out with BIL and SIL prior to them returning overseas (sob!) and landed ourselves at Kenzan without a booking on a freezing cold Friday night. Luckily we got a table with a 20 minute wait, which was very nice as there was a 90 minute across at Cumulus and a 2 1/2 hour (!) down over at Chin Chin.
The large sushi and sashimi platter($105) is one of the best in Melbourne. Every slice of fish was fresh, perfectly cut and of the highest quality. The nigiri had a perfect balance of rice and fish. Hubby and I have agreed that this would be a perfect "celebration indulgence" dish! *secretly planning to return with just the 2 of us*
Their tempura ($35) is perfectly executed and felt light despite being a battered and fried dish. Too often tempura would leave you with an oily taste but these well beautifully done, crispy on the outside and soft within, and not at all heavy.
The Unagyu ($35) had lovely pieces of eel with a beautiful soy glaze on a bed of rice. I wished it was a much larger serve though, it was so delicious!
The Tori Teriyaki ($35) rounded out the meal for us. Whilst it's not the most exciting dish, the flavours are well balanced and went well with a bowl of rice.
We then headed over to Supernormal for dessert. There was quite a wait for dinner earlier on but we got a table quite quickly by the time we popped over. The restaurant was still buzzing with a pumping friday night crowd.
There were 4 quite interesting items on the dessert menu so we ordered them all to share! We started off with the Miso and Pink Lady Ice-cream soft serve ($9). I must admit for once I was not a fan of the mix of sweet and salty. The miso soft serve just tasted plain odd to me. I did enjoy the pink lady part of it but even so I didn't quite like the miso part by itself or mixed with the pink lady.
I did really like the Peanut Butter Parfait, with salted caramel and soft chocolate ($15). Think a big serve of Reese's peanut butter cup, but with varying texture and a hit of caramel.
Next up was my favourite, a Soft Meringue, with sheep's milk yogurt, apple and shiso ($16). Every element of this was delightful, with the sharp tang of the apple contrasting with the soft, sweet meringue.
And finally a Fried Custard, in ginger syrup ($12). I'm familiar with this concept as my grandmother loved to order a version of this in Chinese restaurants because she said it was a popular dish from where she grew up, and I always found it such a departure from traditional asian dishes. I really liked this version with the sweet, sticky but spicy ginger syrup.