A Taste of Home

Cautiously Optimistic

I’ve always had a hard time coming across a place that serves authentic Japanese – and I’d rather not have to travel all the way to Japan to eat it. I was scrolling through my News Feed one day and saw an advertisement for a Japanese restaurant named Ajitoya in Seddon. With a cautiously optimistic view of warm Melbourne weather, I decided to call up and make a reservation for a friend and myself.

ajitoya lucky cat - ajitoya

Enter Ajitoya

It was love at first sight. I have always been drawn to the charming and quirky things in life, and this place was sparkling with charm. The front area of the restaurant was full of life, and it was spreading the feels of home; full of comfort and colour. The music was as welcoming as the ‘bits and bobs’ of the restaurant, I found it amusing to be greeted by a cute lucky cat figurine. I was approached by one of the staff members, and I’ll admit to being starstruck by her. I was too shy to make use of my seven years of Japanese study, so I ordered in English.

Bring out the foodie 

We ordered two sets with takoyaki (octopus balls) and tuna tataki. By ordering a set, it means you can make a dish into a full meal; with a salad, miso soup and a bowl of rice. I was content sitting by the window with my friend, chatting whilst sipping on hot genmai (brown rice) tea, then suddenly I was approached by the lovely waitress with our two trays of food. I didn’t expect our food to be prepared so quickly!

The lightly seared tuna was resting on a bed of seaweed drizzled in sauce, I didn’t want eat it in fear of disturbing it’s beauty. I am a huge lover of raw fish and the moment I took a bite of the tuna tataki, the delightful tangy sauce welcomed itself onto my taste buds. I normally don’t like having spicy foods – they tend to reduce me to tears, but the spiciness from the sauce only lasted a few seconds and the taste of delicious raw tuna took over.

I had the sesame bean salad accompanying my dish, and it was the perfect amount of green beans sprinkled with sesame seeds. The crunchy texture was very satisfying and balanced perfectly with my rice – which was so fluffy! I loved how the miso soup came with diced pumpkin; I’m so used to having just seaweed and tofu, it was the perfect surprise! My friend had the takoyaki set, and out of courtesy, I kept my chopsticks off of his plate. But he did let me steal a takoyaki ball, which was the most amazing combination of taste and texture.
We managed to fit in some dessert because we all know that there’s always room for dessert. We ordered a green tea cheesecake to share and it was superb. The moisture was perfect and the flavor was subtle with the perfect amount of sweetness. It was partnered with vanilla ice cream, sprinkled with green tea powder icing.

With this first time experience at Ajitoya, I feel that it’s safe to say that it’s a restaurant that everyone needs to try at least once. There is a feeling you receive when dining; that it’s not just a business, but a home. It’s a place to go to after a long day’s work or when you want to see friends and relax.  The positive atmosphere seeps into their food of comfort and warmth, you are guaranteed to leave with a very satisfied belly 🙂


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