As promised last week, here’s another guest post from the lovely Gourmet Chick, this time venturing to Albert Park. Gourmet Chick is a Melburnian living in London who writes about food in London and around the world (including Melbourne) at www.gourmet-chick.com. You can also follow her on Twitter @msgourmetchick. Thanks Gourmet Chick!

It’s not that Naked Japan is a bad restaurant, it’s just not the sort of restaurant you would recommend your friends cross town for, so on that basis I have given it a NOT.

First the good things. Located in leafy Victoria Avenue in Albert Park, Naked Japan is a casual neighbourhood restaurant.  No bookings are required and if you want to eat alone there is a counter lining the window with stools that sole diners can happily perch at.  The interior is fairly small and no frills with a handful of tables and an open kitchen so that every now and again you become momentarily distracted by a wok flaming or a chef shouting.  They also run a takeaway service and a steady stream of customers pile in to pick up bags of Japanese goodies from the counter.

The menu contains all the Japanese favourites such as sushi, soba noodles, tempura and bento boxes.  All the meals are presented on beautiful Japanese crockery that is so nice looking that you can’t help but think whether it would be possible to steal it.  Naked Japan also offers plentiful refills of green tea which is always a winner in my book.

Naked Japan, 99 Victoria Avenue, Albert Park Melbourne Hot or Not review

To start, gyoza ($6 for 5) looked the goods with their pastry skin straining to accomodate the stuffing of meat, cabbage, ginger and onion.  However the gyoza had a slightly greasy feel to them and I think they had been pan fried for a little too long.

Naked Japan, 99 Victoria Avenue, Albert Park

Salmon teriyaki don ($14) was a dispiriting looking meal as the salmon glowed a lurid orange through the brown teriyaki garlic sauce.  The salmon was perfectly cooked but the whole dish was quite boring with no real depth of flavour.
Naked Japan, 99 Victoria Avenue, Albert Park

A better option was the Nabeyaki Udon ($12) that came to the table steaming hot in a generous bowl of broth filled with thick white udon noodles and topped with fried prawns, chicken and vegetables along with a poached egg. If you do happen to be in the area and make your way to Naked Japan then this is the dish to order.  Otherwise I think there are better Japanese restaurants in Melbourne.

For cheap Japanese restaurants that the blog has previously rated HOT, try Don Don, Sushi Ten and Ramen Ya in the city.

To catch the last of Gourmet Chick‘s guest posts, come back next week for her trip to The Graham Hotel in Port Melbourne.

Naked Japan on Urbanspoon