Gaijin Japanese Fusion an Icon in South Yarra
Gaijin Japanese Fusion is an iconic intimate Japanese restaurant in Commercial Road South Yarra that The World Loves Melbourne first visited in 2014. The quality of the food is top notch and Gaijin has been a hugely popular restaurant in Melbourne for a number of years, having built up an enthusiastic following of regulars and new customers. A stone's throw from the Prahran Market, Gaijin offers great value for money as well as quality food offerings.
We also notice a high rating on Urbanspoon, not always easy to achieve, with customers raving about the sashimi, tempura, sushi and the amazing value of the all you can eat special. The World Loves Melbourne has included Gaijin Japanese Fusion in our Best Japanese Food in Melbourne article.
At Gaijin you feel at home and the staff make you feel special (our experience). We enjoy the miso, soup, sushi (especially the spicy salmon), sashimi and the spicy notes of some of the dishes. Names like Tasmanian Roll and South Yarra Roll are an indicator of fusion dining and bringing a local Aussie touch to Japanese food. The Big Bang dish with baked rolls is also a signature we love, as well as the Spicy Pork Belly. For lovers of Soft Shell Crab we enjoy the crunch and taste of this dish. The Black sesame ice cream with panna cotta is a great example of fusion and is an outstanding dessert.
We interviewed owner Indira Setiaputri about Gaijin Japanese Fusion:-
1. What is the philosophy and aim of Gaijin as part of the Melbourne dining scene?
The philosophy and aim of Gaijin are:
- To be known as one of the best sushi restaurants in Melbourne.
Our competitive advantages are our fusion sushi rolls and our All You Can Eat Sushi and Sashimi offer that runs from Monday through to Friday.
We've been consistent from the beginning, when Gaijin was established in September 2009, that we would be serving good quality of fusion sushi rolls.
- To create a good dining experience that is unique and relaxing for our customers that is located not far from the Melbourne CBD.
Our ambience is relaxing with neutral and soft colour palettes - brown, gold and red; with an easy listening lounge/jazz music playing in the background as well.
- To deliver a great customer service.
Our supervisor and front staff are well-trained because we need to make sure that our customers are pleased and satisfied with our service, so they will return and recommend Gaijin to their family and friends.
2. What makes great Japanese food?
I would say:
- A unique value proposition in the dishes; at Gaijin, our value prepositions are the All You Can Eat Sushi & Sashimi offer that has been consistently running since its' opening and also the Special Winter/Summer menu that was introduced recently,
- Fresh sashimi, home made sauces and signature dishes, and most importantly
- The culinary team, who makes the Japanese food and creates the menu, that is led by highly qualified and experienced Head Chef and Sushi Chef.
3. What are your major influences and inspirations?
I don't have a favourite or particular Chef or restaurant who majorly influences and inspires me. In my opinion, our success is influenced and inspired by a series of events that include 1) personal dining experience and culinary exploration, and 2) networking with other talented and successful Chefs, Restauranteurs and Entrepreneurs. It is indeed a journey; and we will never stop learning, exploring and be creative.
4. What are some of your signature dishes?
Our signature dishes are our fusion sushi rolls. Tasmanian, Spider vs Dragon and Baked Dynamite rolls are three of our favourite dishes.
We also have a Japanese version of Seafood Chowder and Fusion Carbonara that is served with shredded nori and masago, which are highly recommended.
If our customers want light dishes, we have Cheesy Gyoza, Gaijin Special Salmon Salad, Salmon Tartare, Big Bang or Crispy Soft Shell Crab as our signature dishes and favourite.
5. Are we seeing more fusion dishes in Japanese cooking?
Yes, the implementation of fusion menu, ingredients and sauces have increased quite significantly over the last 3 years. However, the basic principles of Japanese cooking are still the same. The freshness of the fish and seafood and the culinary skills; slicing and filleting of the fish (especially for sashimi and nigiri), are important. The experience of the Head Chef and his Culinary team in Japanese cooking are also critical.
6. What other comments do you have about Gaijin?
Gaijin will keep evolving. We will always create new-unique-interesting dishes with a twist through our menu that is always reviewed and updated every 6 months, and also through our Special Winter/Summer menu.
If you haven't tried our All You Can Eat and Special Winter/Summer dishes, please come to our restaurant to try it. I promise you, you won't be disappointed!
Gaijin also do takeaways and delivery via UberEats.
Instagram: Gaijin Melbourne
Twitter: Gaijin Fusion
Text message to 0417 042 755
Call to 03 9804 8873