We are having an early dinner at Yaki Boi in Woden. Since my daughter moved all the way down to Gordon, her favourite restaurant is a convenient midway point for a catch-up.
This Woden location is Yaki Boi’s second Japanese fusion restaurant and bar, which opened earlier in the year. Nestled in the heart of Westfield Shopping Centre, next to the Hoyts Cinemas, it incorporates traditional Japanese flavours with innovative Western twists.
Yaki Boi boasts a creative fusion menu. Choose from a wide range of tempting options, including sashimi, takoyaki, burgers, pizza, edamame, katsu and udon carbonara.
The sleek interior pays homage to Japanese architecture, soft lighting and wide swathes of art across its walls. Yaki Boi also features a bar within the restaurant where guests can enjoy a selection of original cocktails, beers, wines and spirits.
We scoot into an ambient corner and peruse the menu, then start with some drinks.
The Melon Slipper, with mouthfuls of gin, Midori and citrus, is tart and icy – a refreshing slap in the face, with a delicate foam on top.
Momo Peach is a multi-layered drink – ripe and luscious, not overly sweet, there is lots going on and lots to love about this cocktail.
The Dream of Summer mocktail is tropical, refreshing and “potent”, my daughter tells me. It is her drink of choice every time she comes here.
My Princess Martini – a blend of peach schnapps, rum, lemon and grapefruit – is proof that good things come in small packages. This is my favourite cocktail of the evening. Each sip is sweet, sour and brings a warmth to the belly. It is the cocktail I keep coming back to.
The Wagyu cheeseburger spring rolls arrive, hot and crisp. They taste just like a cheeseburger, with an acidic kimchi dipping sauce that adds a much-needed zing. The quality of the wagyu means the filling is melt-in-your-mouth tender.
I enjoy my Carpaccio kingfish starter. Silken kingfish slices topped with crispy deep-fried capers, that are delightful olivine pops of salty perfection. Tangy cubes of pickled beetroot and dollops of herbaceous shiso round out the flavour profile of this starter.
My daughter declares our generous serving of Karaage chicken to be the “best fried chicken ever”. It is definitely pleasing to the tastebuds – all satisfying crunch, juicy chicken and mild kewpie mayo.
The poke bowl is always my weak spot here at Yaki Boi. I love the chewy give of edamame, tender cubes of kingfish and salmon, the crunch of radish, salty bursts of roe, and the sweet salty strands of seaweed salad. All on a bed of rice and doused with a perfect sesame dressing. I do not share any of it.
Yaki Boi’s beef truffle pizza exemplifies ‘simple is best’ when it comes to toppings. Crispy edged with a bechamel base and topped with an addictive truffle aioli drizzle, wagyu beef slices, mushrooms and caramelised onion and smattering of basil leaves sing together harmoniously. The more I eat this pizza, the more I like it.
Our desserts arrive on chilled dessert plates – an ingenious way to keep them from melting on a summer’s day.
My daughter’s ice cream trio sits prettily in a waffle/chocolate basket, a clever hack to stop melty drips escaping down chins. I don’t get much of a look-in on this dessert, but I enjoy the one mouthful I steal.
My dessert is Japanese honey yuzu bingsu – shaved ice, zesty and exotic with fresh mint, dragonfruit, and the citrus zing of yuzu, sweetened with honey. It is a pristine finish to a delicious meal.
Yaki Boi is located at Westfield Woden, Shop 083B/5 Keltie St, Phillip, next to the Hoyts Cinemas. The restaurant is open from 11:30 am to 10 pm, seven days a week.
In Braddon, you’ll find Yaki Boi in the ORI Building, 72/30 Lonsdale Street, next to Club Lime.
Original Article published by Michelle Taylor on Riotact.