Friday, 20 July 2007


A second encounter with a shoebox this week, Samurai lures me to Hawthorn. No bigger than a janitor’s office, it’s a tight fit. Red paint splashed on the walls, kabuki frames and fusuma decorate to remind you this place is Japanese.

A menu targeting students and cost conscious diners, it’s has Don Bradman shot variety. Order sushi, yakitori, udon, ramen and dons, also a special lunch box available for $6 Monday to Friday. Everything is absolutely amped up in flavour here. Subtlety is not in Samurai’s vocabulary. The eggplant is pan fried til the flesh has slightly softened and the skin tender is drenched with a sweet miso paste. It’s welcoming but the paste is overbearing. The yakitori was unexpected, but at $3.50, I’m not complaining. Usually in the form of skewers, mirin soy marinaded and crumbed slices of chicken arrived on a plate instead. Easy to see how they trundle out meals so quickly, those same pieces of crumbed chicken come with the katsu curry and katsu don. Again the sauce topping the katsu-don and oyako-don raised eyebrows. Usually a thin, translucent liquid of soy, mirin, sake with onion and whisked eggs stirred through, out came a flood of opaque brown gravy. Hold back on the soy and sugar please, so rich that it caused thickenings of the throat. The curry here is excellent, best I’ve had since Sydney, it lingers with enough peppery bite at the end whilst having a full curry flavour. Heart warming at those prices and I’ll be going back for more.

The search for a quality curry in Melbourne has taken one step forward, but like those $15 hookers to Chazz Michael Michaels, I’m never satisfied.

3 / 5 yums!


Where? 804 Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn

What? Average Entrée - $4, Main - $7

Left to Right : Negu Dengoku, Marinaded chicken yakitori, crumbed chicken yakitori, Katsu Curry, Katsu-don, Oyako-don

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