Last weekend hubby and I decided to try out a modern Japanese restaurant called Ocha located in Hawthorn. If you didn't already know, I am a huge fan of Japanese food. If there's a special occasion dinner and I get to choose the place, it's more likely than not that we will end up in a Japanese restaurant.
As I had make a booking earlier, we were seated pretty quickly. The place was smaller than I had imagined it to be and was quite packed with people, but everyone looked noticeably happy. The interior and lighting was really pretty and straightaway I loved the atmosphere.
We were ready to order our food within 5 minutes of being seated, and the waitress who served us was a little shocked at our speed. She didn't know that we had both been previewing the menu in much detail before arriving!
I liked how many items were priced per piece because it allowed us to order a variety of things in small amounts, although it worked out to be more expensive. As we weren't really interested in the main dishes that night, we ended up ordering 7 starters / appetisers.
We started off with two oysters, one with a bacon plus miso dressing and another with a strawberry dressing. It was the first time I had oysters mixed with fruit but the taste was surprisingly refreshing.
We shared a scampi with chilli mayonnaise and tempura, which were both really crispy and delicious.
My favourite dish of the night would definitely be the seared kingfish sashimi. Being a huge sashimi eater I was glad that there was something else apart from the regular salmon and tuna sashimi. The slices came dressed in ponzu sauce which complemented it nicely. Although I was quite full by the time this dish was served, I still found it so tasty and had most of it for myself! (Dear hubby decided to give me most of his share after seeing how much I liked it.)
Other dishes that we ordered were scallops, grilled eggplant and antipasto for two (not pictured here). There was nothing special about the antipasto, except for the delicious quail eggs that just melted in the mouth. The scallops were pretty ordinary as well, and the grilled eggplant was too salty. After taking one bite I really couldn't bring myself to take another.
All in all I really liked this restaurant and there are plenty more dishes that I would love to try, including those in the dessert menu. We will definitely be going back again!