Yokoyama's Japanese Restaurant, Doncaster East

Last week, my family and I decided to eat at Yokoyama's Japanese Restaurant, Doncaster East for our Chap Goh Mei (fifteenth and last day of the Lunar New Year) celebration. I called the night before and was happy to get a booking for five people at 8:30pm. Plenty of reviews were raving about the quality of food but there were also comments that it was very expensive. Nevertheless, I was very excited to try it out for myself.

In my opinion, it had a very unappealing shopfront but the interior was quite lovely. Hubby and I found my parents and brother sitting in a corner, already sipping away at some chilled saké. The staff were nice and friendly but it took them quite a while to bring us the menus.

My first impression when I glanced over the menu was oh yes, it was expensive. However, there were quite a few unique dishes that caught my eye. We assumed that the dishes weren't going to be large so we ordered quite a variety.

kaki fried oyster#1: Deep fried oysters (kaki fry)

Have I ever mentioned that I have yet to find a place that does good kaki fry? Well, this is the best I've tried so far. The batter was super crispy and light, and you could really taste the freshness of the oyster.

tempura#2: Tempura

This ranked the lowest on my list that night. Don't get me wrong, it was yummy, but I thought it was bad value for money. For $35, we got a couple of prawns and some vegetables, nothing out of the ordinary. When it first arrived, we thought we might have accidentally ordered the entrée size instead, since it was so tiny!

sashimi #3: Sushi and sashimi platter

This was another dish that I thought was extremely expensive. At $50, there was barely enough for two (I think I could have finished this on my own on a ultra hungry night), but everything was so clean and fresh, plus there were quite a few types of fish served.

unagi #4: Eel (Unagi)

For my brother and I, this was a dish brought back childhood memories. When we were kids, our parents used to bring us to Minoru, Kuching and it was certainly one of our favourite dishes. With just the right amount of sauce and flavour, it was very enjoyable.

sea urchin sashimi

#5: Sea urchin sashimi

This was definitely the highlight of the night. When we were placing our order, the waitress recommended this dish, stating that it was the night's special and was very, very fresh. We have never had sea urchin sashimi before, so we thought it would be interesting to try. When it arrived it looked like a blob of some strange and unknown substance. I wasn't game enough to be the first one to try it, so waited till hubby had a bite, and he nodded in approval. I then picked up a piece of seaweed, placed some sashimi on top and shoved it in my mouth. It is the type of dish that you savour in silence, process its awesomeness for a few seconds, then go 'Ohhhhhh. Soooo goooood.' And then I ate some more, without the seaweed. Mind blown.

crispy skin kingfish sashimi
#6: Crispy skin kingfish sashimi

Yes, yet another sashimi dish! The skin wasn't as crispy as I had imagined and was slightly too charred for me, but the pink, fresh meat between was lovely. The guys seemed to love it, skin and all.

#7: Chawanmushi

And last of all, silky smooth egg custard. This was filled with goodies such as prawns, mushrooms and other veggies plus a hint of lemon. Light and flavoursome.

What can I say? It was a wonderful dining experience. It certainly is quite pricey but the quality of food is unquestionable. I would really like to come back, but this will have to fall in the 'once a year' or 'very special occasion' category. I'm really surprised that this place is not more well-known, it definitely receives a thumbs up from me!

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