Comfort eats · Dining Review · Japanese · Melbourne


Unlike most people, I’m not quite sure why I’ve not quite warmed up to the Japanese cuisine. After all, it prides itself on the freshness of ingredients, the delicate balance of flavours, the impeccable food presentation and the healthy wholesomeness of its food. So what’s there not to love?

Guess my visit to Japan 7 yrs ago did little to win me over as a fan of Jap cuisine, unlike my peers
Guess my visit to Tokyo 7 yrs ago did little to win me over as a fan of Jap cuisine, unlike my peers…

Oh well, maybe sometimes I find the cuisine a tad too light and the cold rawness of the food does get to me sometimes. A more hearty meal satisfies my belly a little more I guess. And another thing would be the high price tag for Japanese cuisine – I know we are paying mostly for the quality of the ingredients but to me, it just doesn’t seem as worth it when the portions are small and doesn’t fill you up until you hit the $50+/pp mark.

But anyway, I heard alot about Chiba, about its affordable prices and authentic Japanese food. So when Rowas was in town from Perth, I suggested we could do dinner there, in hopes of having a nice meal without having to break our wallets.

Those famous cute bunny plates!
Those famous bunny plates!

In a way, it was a pity that there were only 2 of us because I was eyeing their Chiba Special for 2 for awhile. So in bid to have other variety rather than stuffing ourselves silly with sushi, we forewent the Chiba Special for other dishes.

Spicy Sushi roll
Spicy Sushi roll with raw salmon

The reason why the rolls are ‘spicy’ is because of the spicy mayo on the side, which was delish by the way!

Soft shell crab rolls
Soft shell crab rolls

Of course, I couldn’t go past my favourite soft shell crab. There was more spicy mayo drizzled on the plate which we enjoyed mopping it up with our sushi.

But there was a dish that we didn’t quite enjoy…

Gyu Tataki
Gyu Tataki

We thought we’ll go onto the raw side and order this dish. I was hoping for the freshness of the beef to come through. However, Rowas commented that the beef didn’t taste as fresh as the ones she had in Japan. So coupled with the raw egg yolk, the rawness of the dish got abit too much and we actually struggled to finish it.

Grilled Eggplant with sweet miso sauce
Grilled Eggplant with sweet miso sauce

Thankfully, this dish came to counter the rawness in our bellies. We actually really liked this dish, mainly because we like eggplant! The eggplant was grilled nicely, with the crunchy skin and juicy soft flesh inside, paired off with the sweet savoury miso sauce. Come to think of it, this was the only hot dish we ordered and a good thing we did too!

So that was our Chiba dinner in a nutshell. The bill came up to $20+/pp which I thought wasn’t too bad. We actually withheld from ordering more because we wanted dessert (but alas, all the dessert places in the city were shut early on that weekday night! 😦 ). But I guess even if we went for a full-on dinner, it would be $30pp at most which I think is quite reasonable for a Japanese dinner. And for that, I wouldn’t mind going back, and perhaps to even try out their Chiba Special!

So thanks to Chiba‘s reasonable prices and above-average food fare, I might slowly be warming up to the Japanese cuisine 😉

Chiba Japanese on Urbanspoon

Anyway, it was good catching up with a sister-in-Christ, especially one that you don’t get to see often and one who will make the time to have a meal with you or show you around when you visit. I look forward to catching up with you again Rowas, whether it be in Perth, Melbourne, Singapore or somewhere in the world! And next time, let’s try to have dessert too!

2 thoughts on “Chiba

  1. I’m so in agreement with the hesitance to get into Japanese cuisine, especially coming into winter but $20 sounds like a bargain for 2 people. Did you find that it you left feeling satisfied?


  2. Hey Katie! Sorry if I didn’t make it clear on my post – what I meant was that the dinner cost us about $20+ per person 😛 Yeah, we walked out feeling just right – I guess if you want a fuller meal, it’ll end up about $30+ per person which I think is still quite reasonable for Jap cuisine!


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