Ajitoya Seddon is a small Japanese cafe/eatery that got my attention initially because it has a decent range of Japanese craft beers and also sells a range of Japanese groceries.
I’d been avoiding Japanese food after coming back from my trip to Japan earlier on in the year to avoid disappointment, but I’d started craving Japanese food again and today was the day when I decided I’d try somewhere new to get my fix. The Japanese craft beer and the fact that I could stock up on a few Japanese ingredients that I’d run out of at home made Ajitoya an obvious choice.
Owners Adam Sleight and Maya Fujihara describe the food as “simple, home-style Japanese”. It’s a small menu with a selection of dishes designed for sharing and more substantial plates. Favourites like Gyoza, Tonkatsu, Tempura, Donburi and Noodles are all to be found along with other bits and pieces.
Miso Soup ($4.00)
The miso soup was tasty. Nothing fancy, just a nice broth with a selection of vegetables inside it.
Tsukemono (Japanese Pickles) ($7.00)
Pickled cabbage, cucumber and daikon came next and again, they were nothing fancy, but they were done right and tasted just like they should, with a good level of ginger in the daikon that wasn’t too overpowering.
There are over 40 Japanese craft beers on offer at Ajitoya and I tried this unflitered Kolsch from Niigata. It wasn’t a bad drop at all. 2 of the Coedo beers were on tap as well.
Takoyaki are battered balls filled with diced octopus that are deep fried. They are covered in mayonnaise, a sweet “takoyaki” sauce, nori flakes and katsuobushi flakes. The takoyaki at Ajitoya also had red ginger sprinkled on it. These were really tasty although not as hot temperature wise as I had expected. They took me right back to Osaka where they are a very common street food.
The Tonkatsu was quite tasty however the crumbing was denser than I had expected and the sauce that was already on it when it came out was, while tasty, not tonkatsu sauce so the flavour wasn’t what I was expecting.
I didn’t order dessert as I weren’t hungry by that stage however my wife and I were impressed to see that Japanese matcha parfait was one of the options, which was something we’d encountered quite often in Japan but haven’t seen too often in Australia.
Overall Ajitoya does what it claims to do. Simple, Japanese home style cooking and craft beer, with a small range of Japanese products for sale. Is it worth making the trek out to Seddon if you’re not in the area? No, however if you’re a local and feel like some Japanese food then it fits the bill nicely. I’m not even going to try and compare it to the food back in Japan, but in the Melbourne context it’s perfectly acceptable. I’d be back if it was near my house.
82 Charles Street
Telephone: (03) 9687 1027
Tue – Sat: 11:00am to 3:00pm; 5:00pm to 9:00pm
Sun: 12:00pm to 3:00pm; 5:00pm to 9:00pm