A new modern Japanese restaurant with an impressive Sake bar has opened in Glen Waverley and it has great potential!
Slightly fancy, yet chilled out/moody vibes describe how you feel when you’re in the restaurant. The aesthetics of Aoki Japanese Kitchen were the biggest stand out for me. It is evident that a lot of planning and effort went into the design and feel of the restaurant. Loads of booths running down one side as well as an eye-catching neon sign lead your eye straight to the back of the restaurant where you can see the chefs preparing your meal through a cut out in the wall. The purple/magenta coloured lighting is carried on through the sake bar which is so neat that you would feel bad using it. The table water bottles are even branded! Mmm, definitely an A+ for design from me.
The food was good, but nothing too outstanding. They have a separate menu for lunch and dinner, so I can only speak for the lunch menu when I say that there is something for everyone even though their lunch menu is quite limited. The modern take on Japanese cuisine sees burgers being their main and most popular dishes. Again, the presentation of the food was tops. I ordered the Teriyaki Chicken and loved how all the elements to the dish were served on a trendy, stone platter. Taste-wise, the dish was good. The biggest stand out was the chicken itself – the slow cooked free range chicken was so deliciously juicy and tender and went perfectly with the teriyaki sauce. It was served with a bowl of rice, soup, pickled cabbage and salad. Though each portion of the dish was small, for $17.50, I felt it was good value for money.
The Wagyu Beef burger was the popular dish choice amongst our group. We also ordered an Eel burger. Reports all came back positive! We did notice, however, that the consistency of chip quantity differed between each burger meal. The eel burger seemed to have significantly more chips than the wagyu beef burger. Perhaps the eel burger received more because it was a more expensive dish? Or maybe we were just looking too much into it. I mean, too many chips is never been a bad thing, anyway (most of the time).
Before I get onto my thoughts on the service, I must add that we did visit the restaurant very soon after its grand opening, so I completely understand and appreciate that they would have been over-cautious to be doing everything right. The staff were all very friendly and super helpful, but I felt that they were quite rehearsed and slightly awkward. I’m certain this was because the restaurant was still so new, so I’m hoping next time I go they would have gained more confidence and loosened up a bit because I really think this cool, new eatery in the south-east has potential to boom! They are also working on dishes for a new menu which is exciting, so I will definitely be back to give that a try. Oh, and to try their dessert, of course! Flick through some of their dessert image uploads and you’ll know what I’m talking about!
Aoki Japanese Kitchen
Shop 2/Ground floor/52 Montclair Avenue, Glen Waverley, VIC
Tuesday – Thursday: 11:30am – 3pm / 5:30pm – 10pm
Friday – Sunday: 11:30am – 3pm / 5:30pm – 10:30pm
Aoki on Facebook