When I had a friend who worked at a Japanese restaurant tell me that "they make like, the BEST Japanese, like, ever", I was no longer looking at a friend.
I suddenly saw the world's best employee standing in front of me, voluntarily doing free promotional work for their boss.
How much are they getting paid to do this? I wondered in my head.
That is a daring claim, especially coming from a foodie - one who is always on the pursuit to find food that makes the best not the best anymore.
How much truth was in their words?
Find out I must!
And about 6 months later than intended, find out I did.
And that's half a year too late, of missing out on, like, the best Japanese, like, ever.
|Toro Salmon Sashimi - $12|
An enticingly good looking plate of salmon belly sashimi arrived, and it took a lot of restraint to not be all over it the second it came!
|I could eat you all day...and night|
The long, thin strips are exquisitely smooth with lines of fat embedded into the flesh, melting in your mouth as you slowly savour each slice. I know I tried my hardest to drag out the time it took to eat this! If it helps with the sensory side of things...it's like getting passionate with a tongue. Ha!
|There IS rice under all that!|
It gives a big oomph to plain steamed rice, with the generous hand of seasoning shaken on top. A wonderful blend of salt, sesame seeds, nori flakes and other delicious tasting things that make that fiddy cent worth every cent.
|Prawn Katsu Deluxe Box - $18.50|
Following all the anticipation of the dramatic box opening scene, the prawn katsu features golden breaded deep fried prawns served with 2 sauces, mouthfuls of bean sprouts, seaweed and shredded carrot, mixed sushi rolls, dressed cabbage salad, half boiled egg, agedashi tofu and sesame chicken. What a mouthful!
And what DELICIOUS mouthfuls indeed, of the variety that comes in this box. You don't always see all this in a standard Japanese bento box at restaurants!
|Yakiniku Beef Rice Box - $11|
As a rice lover, I am quite thrilled at the disproportional serving of carbohydrates to protein and vegetables. With seasoned rice taking up exactly half of my boxed dinner, I still manage to finish the rice before slowly trudging through the rest of the beef, which there is still quite a lot of left.
The cabbage, carrot, pickles and bean sprouts are in neat, compartmentalised servings next to the "grilled slice beef". If it is grilled, it is certainly a shame that they no longer have that grilled taste after being drenched with teriyaki sauce.
|Salmon Sashimi - $9.50|
|Salmon Teriyaki Rice Box - $13.50|
I usually associate salmon with images of silky, smooth and moist pieces of flaky goodness. I always wish to see other methods of preparing salmon besides with teriyaki, but to no avail.
Ohynamiya's grilled salmon glistens with a teriyaki glaze on the surface, while sitting in a shallow pool of the sweet syrup. Unfortunately, the pieces are sliced on the thinner side of thin, and suffer from the dreaded overcooking consequence from tasting dry and rough in the centre.
But you know, since salmon is the best thing and all, forgiving and forgetting is easy.
|Getting most excited over rice - that's a first!|
|Chicken Katsu Curry - $12.50|
Here the chicken katsu curry is not served to you as a curry, but rather more as a simple plate of rice and freshly deep fried, crispy, poppin' hot pieces of tender chicken. All the more better this way, as you can decide for yourself whether this is too good to eat on its own, and end up deciding to omit the curry sauce altogether.
Although both are golden and deep fried, there's a certain innate feeling that reduces the guilt from chowing down on Japanese katsu chicken served on a plate rather than the KFC kernel's original recipe chicken served in a big red bucket.
|Gravy Curry sauce|
Served in a huge ladle like pot for clean, easy pouring and thorough curry sauce distribution throughout your plate of chicken, the thick and chunky curry gravy is there when you need it, and not there when you don't need it (for example, when you want your chicken crispy and your steamed rice white).
Makes perfect sense, to order chicken curry, but having the option to only turn it into a chicken curry when you want it to.
|More majestic golden in colour than poop brown|
|Black Sesame Ice Cream with Azuki Bean - $5|
With a small but delicious selection of desserts, it's hard to say no, even if your pants have gone noticeably tighter. A more simplistic choice is this cylindrical mound of black sesame ice cream served with a dollop of softened azuki beans and a glazed cherry.
Although not having the conventional gritty black colour of sesame flavoured desserts, the ice cream still has that distinct sesame flavour. Intensity of it could always be a bit (a lot!) more. As always.
|Green Tea Pannacotta - $5|
Served on a small saucer, the panna cotta is heart-achingly small in stature but has a perfectly silky wobble. I prod it once, twice, three times, and then went into mass destruction mode.
|The type of island you'd want to spot|
So this panna cotta are all my fantasies coming together, and little did I expect to find it in a humble suburban Japanese eatery. The lusciously light and silky dessert holds a consistently smooth texture throughout and the green tea infused cream means it's not overly sweet.
The overall green colour does not lie, and stays true to your expectation of a strong, intense matcha flavour. The darker layer on top is especially rich and full bodied with slightly bitter undertones, which is easily balanced out with the creamy, sweet moat of custard that protects that green castle - equally as majestic as it is fragile.
|Green cups: just so fitting for green tea|
Just not the alcoholic kind!
Though a place that actually dishes out free samples of Japanese sake does exist...
Although a perfectly located Ohnamiya sits on Hampden Road at my convenience, I am inclined to make the trek to whoop whoop (i.e. South of river) to get a good feed from the Ohnamiya from down under. The place is bigger, brighter and rowdier (for the better)!
A most notable mention goes to the waitresses there, for their attentive - perhaps overattentive service. While we appreciate how much attention we were receiving, you'd agree having 4 different staff within the time span of 4 minutes popping by to take your order a bit excessive right? Haha, it didn't bother us one bit, and it's nice to know someone is standing by, ready when we were. Getting attention certainly beats trying to get attention!
It was pleasing to see service is observant and efficient, out on the floor and in the kitchen. Meals come out swiftly and speed is not compromised with quality whatsoever. Ohnamiya provides hearty meals at reasonable prices that won't make you think twice when it comes down to ordering yourself a feast.
The ambiance here is a casual comfortable dining atmosphere, with simple furniture and decor sporting a wooden theme. Signage on walls encourage you to abandon your seat when you're done to other waiting customers so lingering is probably not looked upon favourably!
And on both occasions of visiting, we happened to be seated at the exact same table and causing that unmistakable feeling of deja vu. But of course, I knew with certainty that the second time around was not a repeat of the first, for I ordered a completely new dish.
For the unwritten rule here is you simply do not, should not, would not and could not stick with one dish at Ohnamiya.
Wed - Sat: 12pm to 2pm
Tues - Sat: 5pm to 9pm
Sunday & Monday: Closed