I’ve discovered that over the last couple of months, I’ve been seeing more and more of Japanese ‘fusion food’. Now before you harp on about how good authentic, traditional Japanese is (think of your ordinary sashimi, udons), this is essentially the same path of how what has now become known as ‘Modern Australian’ cuisine has developed…. for the better 🙂
Mum, sis and I were all surprised when we heard Acacia had opened up in our area of the hood. ‘Modern’ Japanese? Their menu certainly wasn’t on the El Cheapo side, but we decided to pay a visit (with the whole ‘if you never go, you’ll never know’ philosophy) during the lovely weekend.
Acacia is located in the very new GPO block on the highway and its ultra-modern decor is almost squeaking in it’s new-ness. Miscellaneous Japanese accessories adorn the walls (paper fans, sake bottles), where we whisper among ourselves that we’ve possibly seen some of these items from the Japan City store! Our seats are firmly cushioned and comfortable, with bamboo placemats and paper napkins laid out for lunch service. The large window from top to bottom takes up one side of the restaurant and overlooks the carpark next to the station; not particularly scenic. Classical music plays in the background a little too loudly to keep a straight face (especially when a classical version of Abba’s Mamma Mia! comes on), although it is a very quiet lunch service.
For drinks all three of us ladies order green tea and while we each have an individual little tea pot and cup, I’m slightly let down that we’re just given tea bags (although okay quality) rather than leaves or powder.
We start our ordering and mum and sister’s eyes are immediately drawn to the ‘sets’, available only during lunch. Sister picked the Pork Curry Katsu Set ($15.90), which came with rice, miso soup and salad.
The pork was quite overcooked for all of our tastes and the curry sauce a little watery. My sister had an epic battle with finishing off all of the raw cabbage salad on top of the accompanying green salad. The green salad was dressed in a light soy-sesame, which was nice and tangy.
My mum’s Sushi Set ($15.90) which came out with the Pork Katsu was more to our taste, with the pieces of salmon nigiri cut so delicately it melted away in your mouth after a few chews.
I was waiting for my order for some considerable time after their two sets arrived, possibly another 10 minutes or so. I had decided to try what ‘Modern’ Japanese would be and had gone for the Grilled Organic Orange Miso Chicken ($22) which came with ‘ponzu’ vinegar mayonnaise and mashed potato.
When it arrived, we all spent a good amount of time ‘wowing’ it, although its glamorous appearance probably heightened my expectation as to its taste 😦 While the chicken thigh meat was tender, neither the miso nor the orange were particularly present, which could be remedied by perhaps marinating the chicken for longer. The mashed potato would have been nicer had it had a bit more butter in it (as everything would taste better with more butter :P), and other than that, the ‘salad’ was unspectacular.
Overall, I was a little disappointed with the dishes, however the plating of the chicken did inspire my plating for my Orange Honey Roasted Duck a few weeks later. I’ll be coming back here for the lovely sushi.
Acacia Modern Japanese Dining
741 Pacific Highway, Gordon NSw 2072
(02) 9499 5214