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Go on, order whatever tickles your fancy 

Miso steak… the grilled, diced steak was tender with salty-sweet richness shining through. Photo: Wendy Johnson

It’s all you can eat at Okami, with more than 30 Japanese dishes on offer. But Okami isn’t about buffet dining, says dining reviewer WENDY JOHNSON.

IT’S all you can eat at Okami, one of Braddon’s newest restaurants, with more than 30 Japanese dishes on offer. 

Wendy Johnson.

But Okami isn’t about buffet dining. All dishes are freshly cooked to order, which led us to select two at a time to pace ourselves – not only so hot dishes would be hot, but to avoid wasting food. 

The size of each dish is designed around the number dining although you can ask for larger portions. The charge is $38.80 a person (minimum two people), and you order whatever tickles your fancy.

Once we got our heads around the system we explored the menu, wondering if the food would live up to Okami’s promise of “excellence” (it’s a chain restaurant).

The sushi and sashimi platter certainly did. The components – delicately arranged on a black, rectangle plate – were colourful and vibrant. The salmon was super fresh and the quality up there. We dipped pieces into soy with wasabi and countered tastes with thin ribbons of punchy pickled ginger. 

Our next dish, the Shumai, wasn’t our favourite. The Japanese-style, mini chicken and vegetable dim sims were slightly bland (taste and visually). 

We’re gyoza fans and the prawn version of these half-moon-shaped, pan-fried dumplings hit the mark (four for two). The dough was the right consistency and the small side salad added visual appeal.

The winning dish of the day was the miso steak, and we’d head back to Okami just for a repeat. The grilled, diced steak was tender and the miso a match made in heaven. It offered that special umami flavour with salty-sweet richness shining through.

While the tempura batter was light, there wasn’t enough of it on the sweet-potato slices, which were cut thick and slightly undercooked. The flavours of our remaining dishes were satisfying – cold Soba noodles and julienne vegetable dishes with a light garlic sauce.

Okami respectfully asks customers to avoid wasting food and reserves the right to apply extra charges if food waste is over 200 grams (not that diners arrive with weigh scales, but the point is well made). 

Okami is both licensed and BYO, which is just as well for wine lovers. Prices are very reasonable but the selection is not amazing (Mateus Rose, anyone?). Japanese drinks feature plum wine, beers, premium, award-winning Otokoyama (served cold or warm) and Mio Sparkling Sake.

The outdoor area, where we sat (the only ones), is minimalist and sparse. While Okami promises “efficient” service, we got off to a very slow start and had to get up to attract attention, starting with our wine order. Eventually, things settled into a rhythm… but we felt the outdoor area wasn’t front-of-mind with staff.

More of Wendy Johnson’s reviews at citynews.com.au

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Wendy Johnson

Wendy Johnson

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