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A Few of My Favourite Things!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Shoya Wanna Eat There?

Our friend waved to the maitre d' who was at the next table with another waiter standing next to her, wanting to ask about a dish on the menu.

Maitre d': (abruptly) "Wait! I'm busy here."

Probably not a good start to our night here but we persevered with our order which was taken by the maitre d' herself. After that, we were left with trainee waiters as she spent the rest of the night playing the sycophant to the guest at the next table, who appeared to be a food critic or restaurateur from Singapore, and his friends.

Don't they train wait staff during the week anymore? It was the second night for one of them and his hands were trembling so hard when he was placing our plates and condiments down that I thought I was going to end up splattered with soy sauce.

We were presented with a amuse bouche of overcooked fried fish to whet our appetites... The sashimi moriawase, petit awabi sashimi (abalone) and salmon toro sashimi came out one after another. I had been looking forward to their sashimi all week, understanding that it's meant to be of top standard at this establishment. I don't think I'm being harsh by saying that I've had as good if not better at food courts.

The next dish turned out to be the gyu-tan koshu-ni, an ox tongue stewed in Japanese seasoning and red wine. However our waiter did not have a clue what it was when we asked him. There was no "I'm not sure but I'll find out for you" -

Waiter: I don't know...
Us: Is this the ox tongue?
Waiter: Maybe

Anyway, it was sliced thickly and eaten as a sandwich between a mantou bun was the best dish of the night - with or without the mantou. The scampi kinokoyaki, grilled scampi topped with some thinly sliced shitake and anoki mushrooms, was garlicky and sweet. Pretty perfect too. We were also delivered a plate of mapo lobster which we had decided against, but figured it was too much trouble to let them know. Deep-fried lobster pieces (slightly overdone) with cubes of tofu surrounding it, it wasn't spicy enough for our tastes.

We even went so far as to order dessert -

P: I'll have the black sesame and green tea ice cream
A: The black sesame and green tea ice cream as well, we'll share (waving in my general direction)
T: The pannacotta please.

The four scoops of ice cream came out on a big platter, garnished with three slices of pannacotta. Silence. Then a request for the desserts to be separated. 10 or 15 minutes later (I think they were waiting for the ice cream which had already started melting, to harden up in the freezer again) two plates came out with two scoops of ice cream and only one slice of panncotta each. Sigh...it felt like a long night. The maitre d' served us some complimentary plum wine at the end of the night but somehow this didn't go very far in helping us feel better. So, my question is SHOYA you wanna try this place?

SHOYA Nouvelle Wafu Cuisine
25 market lane melbourne 3000 vic
tel: 9650 0848 fax: 9650 0950

4 Comments:

  • ...

    I think I'll refrain from this particular establishment. Sounds like they aimed high but fell very, very short of target. Hopefully your next dining experience doesn't disappoint so? (isn't it amazing how much the service can influence your enjoyment of a meal?)

    By Anonymous Ellie, at Tue. Sep. 05, 06:36:00 pm AEST  

  • I think I will also refrain. If you had said the food was exceptional and the service was bad, I would still put up with it just for the foods sake. But I can just go to my local shop for sashimi if it is of that quality.

    By Blogger thanh7580, at Thu. Sep. 07, 06:56:00 pm AEST  

  • Glad to know you have an outlet for your Shoya experience, not just that food critic.

    By Blogger Susan in Italy, at Sat. Sep. 09, 04:30:00 am AEST  

  • Ellie: Service is pretty critical but I would have been quite okay if the food had been good.

    Thanh: Yep, I agree with you on this! The ox tongue stew was pretty damn good tho!

    Susan: Yes, it's good that not all reviews are by critics cos I don't think they are always that partial.

    By Blogger cin, at Sat. Sep. 09, 04:20:00 pm AEST  

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