Fun, colourful Japanese-inspired fusion

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Deep-fried pork dumplings, and Takoyaki… octopus balls, Japanese mayo and delicious Okonomi sauce. Photo: Wendy Johnson.

“Yaki Boi’s décor is fun, with splashes of colour everywhere. Dainty fans are mounted on walls and festive Japanese lamps hung throughout,” writes dining reviewer WENDY JOHNSON

“JAPANESE-inspired fusion food”. That’s Yaki Boi’s claim to fame.

Wendy Johnson.

Yaki Boi is a new addition to the Braddon dining scene, taking the place of Chaki Chaki on top of the Ori Building. It’s a sunny spot and the rooftop location makes for great people watching.

We weren’t sure what to expect but we definitely weren’t expecting burgers and pizzas. Where was the Japanese influence?

On closer look we uncovered some dishes that fit.

We kick-started lunch with blanched edamame, selecting the spicy version ($6). It was relaxing munching away on these delightful pods.

The deep-fried pork dumplings were delish ($8) and a great dish to share. Ditto the Takoyaki ($8) – octopus balls, Japanese mayo, Okonomi sauce (a delicious condiment and far sweeter and less salty than Worcestershire sauce) and punchy dried Bonito flakes.

Veggie tempura… super light and a lovely mix of eggplant, green beans, okura, pumpkin and sweet potato. Photo: Wendy Johnson.

We continued our “sharing journey” with the veggie tempura ($9), super light and a lovely mix of eggplant, green beans, okura, pumpkin and sweet potato.

The burger line-up features a fair few non-Japanese classics like a burger with American cheese and a version with bacon and pineapple. For that Japanese-inspired fusion food, hit the smoky eel burger ($22), loaded with dried seaweed, Japanese mayo, Kabayaki sauce, free-range scrambled egg and American cheese (Yaki Boi apparently luuuvvvs American cheese). 

Yaki Vegan… Angus beef-style vegan patty, vegan American cheese, vegan peri-peri and veggies. Photo: Wendy Johnson.

Another not-so-ordinary burger was the Yaki Vegan ($23) which features an Angus beef-style vegan patty, vegan American cheese, vegan peri-peri and veggies. It looked fab on the plate but wasn’t particularly perky. The chips were piping hot, however.

Chicken Don… super moist, and surrounded by loads of scrambled egg, curry sauce and rice. Photo: Wendy Johnson.

Three ‘Dons’ are on the menu and two of us selected the curry chicken version ($17). It’s a massive rice dish, so no wonder an oversized bowl was in order. The generous-sized chicken cutlet was super moist, and surrounded by loads of scrambled egg, curry sauce and rice. One of us fell in love. One of us didn’t, but couldn’t put a finger on why. The curry sauce was a bit too thick and didn’t pack a punch with flavour, but perhaps this is personal preference.

And as for the pizzas? Not available at lunch. They start at 3pm.

Yaki Boi’s wine list is limited (four whites and four reds, both starting at $9 a glass). The place concentrates instead on shaking and stirring colourful cocktails (and mocktails). Asahi beers are on the menu, as are a few sakes and a decent selection of fruit liqueurs.

Yaki Boi’s décor is fun, with splashes of colour everywhere. Dainty fans are mounted on walls and festive Japanese lamps hung throughout. Outside is a beautiful flower media wall and a HUGE bamboo chair with large, lime-green pillows… both perfect spots for selfies.

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Wendy Johnson
Wendy Johnson: Food reviewer for Canberra CityNews magazine since 2004, covering stories for true foodies to digest.

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