Chiba – Moonee Ponds
There was a period in my life when I was certain that Japanese cuisine was my favourite. However, it has been a long time since I’ve ventured into Japanese (aside from the quintessential sushi lunch roll), so it was with nervous anticipation that we headed off into the night towards Chiba.
I’d been to Chiba several years before and had fond memories of sharing a few sushi place in a narrow but cosy little restaurant. I was quite taken aback when we walked through the door this evening into a wide open space with choreographed lighting and a bustling upstairs.
We had difficulty choosing from the menu for two key reasons. The first pillar of thought arises from the difficulty of picking the best out a pretty damn decent selection of Japanese favourites. The other being that the menu was really poorly designed with way too many pages due to its skinny binding. Dafuq. Just put it on a double-sided A4, laminate that bad boy and give it to me straight. After much deliberation and intelligent discussion we signed up on the SS Sushi & Sashimi Boat.
Prepare to have your eyes boarded with wonderful things. Glistening chests of salmon roe nestled against bold lashings of rich salmon, tuna and prawn. Awash with vibrant colour. Octopus and lemon. A mound of pickled ginger and a rustic knob of fearsome wasabi. There’s no denying that this is a visually impressive dish.
The skill and care that goes into Chiba’s food is clear and I do wish I’d had the time and stomach space to sample a wider selection of the menu. It’s hard to be really impressed by sushi though and perhaps we did make the wrong choice but there was nothing on board this ship that really stood out as amazing. It was nice though, I’ll give it that.
As recent converts to the church of Daifuku, we couldn’t resist ordering Chiba’s Daifuku, served with fruit and green tea ice cream. The icecream was creamy but sadly didn’t have much of a hint of green tea. The daifauku (or mochi cake to those playing at home) was chewy and filled with sticky red bean curd.
Overall, Chiba is a good destination for those seeking out decent Japanese. The service is good, and it’s definitely a place built on someones, perhaps the chef’s, love of Japanese cuisine.