Maedaya – RichmondPosted: May 18, 2012
Maybe it was a sign from the food gods telling me that when you are watching an AFL match at the MCG you are meant to eat the food that is offered at the stadium. Hotdogs, jam doughnuts, meat pies and hot chips, coke and beer are all absolute winners every day of the week. You certainly cannot go wrong with a combination of those timeless junk-esque snacks. We tried to beat the system on this occasion – to find a suitable pre-match restaurant that was quick, affordable and delicious. Maedaya was quick, affordable and semi-delicious.
I had been to Maedaya on several occasions before, and thought that it would tick all the requirements for this evening. We had no choice but to arrive early, considering we wanted to watch the first bounce, and there is a strict no booking policy for under 6 patrons. The staff are very friendly as they greet you in Japanese (I think) as you enter the room. Further, our waiter was very kind as he helped us select our dinner and drinks – nice to find some helpful staff.
The team behind Maedaya have done a great job fitting out the downstairs room. As you walk in the front door, it is impossible not to notice the ropes hanging from the ceiling that creep down the walls. An interesting touch. I like the space a lot. Meanwhile the bar is on the right hand side displaying an impressive range of Sakes and Japanese beer on tap. I did not get a photo but you will surely see the small grilling station upon entering, where a dedicated griller stands and cooks a variety of skewers (a specialty here). An upstairs room is available too where they host self-barbequing stations – personally I find the downstairs much more cosy and cute.
The menu is enormous in both physical size and variety of izakaya inspired dishes on offer. The skewers are certainly a feature of the menu taking up an entire page of different options including, mushroom, eel, scallops, chicken … you get the picture. We started with the scallop (pictured above). I was hungry and ate them very quickly. The scallops were not a brilliant quality. But they were only $5.00 for the two. It is hard to complain when normally they are a very expensive treat.
Beef, teriyaki chicken and chicken mince skewer ($6.00ish for all). These were very chommable and arrived very quickly.
I cannot criticise the presentation of the Maedaya skewer set. Five of these babies are lined up next to each other, each ready and waiting to disappear. Each skewer was meant to have a different dressing, although I found the mayonnaise ones to be very similar, besides the colour. The three on the right were all alike too. They were very inexpensive and tasted like mushy chicken mince. Not superb, but an ok snack.
The salmon sushi was presented very nicely with carrot slivers and toasted sesame seeds to decorate – stock standard hand rolls. This dish was probably the best of those ordered and was appropriate to share with 2 people.
Main serve of chicken teriyaki. Tender pieces of chicken coated in a thick sweet marinade. You can’t go wrong with it. A good option to plonk in the middle between 2 or 3 people. Three forks please?
Above is the salmon and tuna salad. I felt like the pieces of salmon and tuna were slightly sub-par standard overall – seems like the average fish theme runs through all the dishes here. Nevertheless, this was a healthy and surprisingly filling salad. The golf ball inspired mayonnaise constructed pile of crab meat was a very nice touch. I chommed him up real quick.
We were in and out of Maedaya within 40 minutes, not bursting out of our pants and our wallets had not suffered either.
Overall, Maedaya is not creme da le creme Japanese. That long lasting feeling when you think about the restaurant for days post-visit did not occur after this experience. Will I go back in the future? I would go under similar circumstances. Certainly the level of haste to re-visist has decreased a notch or so since this experience. In such a competitive industry in Melbourne, you just have to be perfect (or at least close to it) with simple dishes like these. Or maybe my mind was a mess the whole time and I just wanted my Four’N Twenty Pie…
The Important Details…
Cuisine: Japanese Izakaya
Noise: Bearable chit chat
Bookings: Groups of 6 or more
Suitable for: All
Price: Approx $25 a head
My View: Fast, friendly and cheap
Address: 400 Bridge Road, Richmond
Phone: (03) 9428 3918