About a month ago, my husband and I went to Wa Modern in Malvern.  It’s a relatively new Japanese restaurant (that opened in July 2014) along the southern aspect of Glenferrie Road, very close to Dandenong Road.  It’s one of those places that doesn’t look like much but the menu is intriguing.

Uninspired by their set menu on offer (which comprised many things that I tend to make at home these days), we decided to order a la carte and were not disappointed.  The delightful Yuriko Hinamoto, co-owner, in charge of the restaurant’s sleek service explained that the head chef and co-owner, Masa Harada, used to work at Koko in Crown Casino where we used to frequent regularly for their delicious, albeit seriously overpriced, sushi.  So we knew, straight away, that we would be sampling a great deal of sushi that day.  As it turned out –  Chef Harada is capable of a whole lot more than just sushi.

 

Smoked beef tataki – smoked beef tataki with ponzu sauce (10 pieces) ($17) 
This was absolutely beautiful and quite unique.  Lovely and smokey, thinly sliced, beautifully seasoned and garnished with brussel sprouts of all things!

Prawn mayo cracker – tempura prawn with chili mayonnaise on wanton cracker (4 pieces) ($12) 
I love a good ebi mayo and this was sensational.  Probably the best I’ve had to date.  The tempura prawn was so delightfully crispy, the mayo was the perfect combination of sweet and spicy, the wanton wrapper was beautifully portioned in its complete form, and the coriander on top brought the whole dish together wonderfully.  Wow.  Great dish.

Scallop & smoked salmon age – scallop & smoked salmon wrapped with kadaifi with wasabi & chili mayonnaise (4 pieces) ($14) 
Oh my goodness.  This was fantastic.  I absolutely adore scallops (especially super fresh raw ones) and love their naturally sweet flavour.  But I soon found out at Wa Modern that I certainly don’t mind them when they’re seasoned with smoked salmon and fried with super crispy Greek pastry.  Talk about fusion.  This was absolutely heavenly especially when dipped in the mayonnaise for a bit of added zing.  Loved it.  Absolutely adored it.

‘Wa’ Roll – fresh daikon julienne, tuna, white fish, avocado & coriander rolled & dressed with salmon (8 pieces) ($18) 
This is their namesake sushi roll for good reason – it’s packed full of quality seafood, zinged up with a good amount of fresh coriander, and made even creamier with a strip of avocado and a dollop of Kewpie mayo.  Wow.  So good for you!

‘Chili’ Roll – spicy tuna tartar, cucumber rolled with tobiko & spring onion (8 pieces) ($16) 
I have a soft spot for fresh tuna marinaded in Sriracha mayonnaise so I absolutely loved this dish.  The spring onion melded in well with the rest of the dish and wasn’t at all overwhelming.

‘Dragon’ Roll – fresh eel & cucumber roll dressed with avocado (8 pieces) ($17) 
My husband loves unagi and before digging in, he allowed me a moment to ‘ooh’ & ‘ahh’ over the impeccable knife skills that were involved in the slicing of the avocado.  It was absolutely delicious and we enjoyed the generosity of the unagi sauce.

Having dined at countless Japanese restaurants, we would have to name Wa Modern as being the best Japanese restaurant in the area.  It really doesn’t look like much but Yuriko’s service is so warm and wonderful and Chef Harada’s unique touch to old classics is truly impressive.  This is a local restaurant which really deserves to take off.

WA MODERN
15 Glenferrie Road
Malvern  VIC  3144
03 9500 8222

Open Tue – Sun 12 – 3 pm; 5:30 – 10 pm

Wa Modern on Urbanspoon

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