Dining Out: Sake & Grill Maedaya, Richmond

by April@MyFoodTrail on October 14, 2009

in Dining Out, Japanese, Richmond

Sake & Grill Maedaya
400 Bridge Road, Richmond VIC
(03) 9428 3918

Cuisine: Japanese
Price: Skewers $2-$6, share plates $4-$19.50
Parking: Along Bridge Road

Ms L and Mr M kept telling us how good the food was at Maedaya and how we should go check it out, but something always came up. When we finally managed to lock in a Saturday night to go together, I was excited! Then Mr R decided on short notice to have his birthday drinks on the same day as our planned visit to Maedaya! Luckily for us, the chosen venue was the Grand Hotel so it wasn’t far for us to have some drinks, then go ahead with our dinner and return for more drinks!

Maedaya is located on Bridge Road, between Coppin and Burnley Streets in Richmond. There are two levels at Maedaya – the ground level is a restaurant, whereas upstairs is the yakiniku (charcoal grill) for you to grill food for yourself. We chose to eat at the restaurant – I hate DIY table barbecue grills and the fact that your hair and clothes end up stinking!

All the different sake displayed on the wall

Maedaya is a Japanese style Izakaya sake bar. An Izakaya is a centuries old Japanese eatery that serves food along with drinks. It’s not a bar, or a restaurant but it serves small dishes (like tapas) along with a large variety of sakes. Maedaya does not serve traditional Japanese food like sushi or sashimi and there are no rice dishes like katsudon or unadon. What they do well is small tapas dishes (called sake partners) and a good selection of yakitori (skewers cooked on a charcoal grill).

Ms L and Mr M suggested dishes we must try and hubby and I picked others that we liked the sound of. The menu is very extensive and all dishes are meant for sharing. There was also a huge list of sakes but I stayed away as I think sake tastes like petrol! I was drawn to the plum wine cocktail list though. The boys had the Suntory Malt beer, which came in a cool frozen glass and stayed icy cold.

Left: Firebird (choya, sake, orange & raspberry) $8,
Right: Bridge Connection (choya, lychee, ruby grapefruit) $7.50

Suntory Malt Beer $7.50

As a complimentary starter, each table receives a plate of plain pancake served with 5 different dipping sauces called “Dippin’ Mate”! The dipping sauces we had were Japanese gravy (blue) which was a mixture of ginger, soy and tonkatsu sauce, fukujinzuke (yellow) which was Japanese pickles, sweet miso (pink), wasabi mayo (green) and sumiso (yellow) which was a miso and balsamic vinegar sauce. You can request more sauce or more pancakes free of charge, but we wanted to save our stomach space for the other dishes!

Complimentary pancakes with 5 different dipping sauces

Mr M suggested we start off with the Maedaya Sumiyaki set, which was a selection of 5 different skewers. You can also order skewers individually, but we thought this was a good tasting plate. It came with a chicken thigh skewer (yakitori), a chicken ball skewer (tsukune), a bacon and cheese skewer (bacon shiso cheese), a pork belly skewer and a chicken breast skewer (muneniku). My favourite was the bacon and cheese – mmm, the bacon had a real crispy but soft outer and the cheese was all nice and melted! My least favourite was the chicken breast because it was a bit dry.

Maedaya Sumiyaki set (yakitori, tsukune, bacon shiso cheese, muneniku & pork belly) $14.50

Okonomiyaki is one of hubby’s favourites and where ever we go, if he sees it on the menu, he will want to order it. The okonomiyaki here is served on a stone plate with a spatula to help you lift it out. It was so soft and tasty with the right mixture of the tangy okonomiyaki sauce and the Japanese mayonnaise.

Okonomiyaki – pan fried Japanese veg pancake topped by special sauce $10

Next up was the deep fried chicken wings. They were beautifully crisp on the outside, but they were quite heavily seasoned with white pepper. I found the white pepper taste too overpowering, but everyone else liked it.

Nagoya Tebasaki – deep fried chicken wings in Nagoya sauce & sesame $5.50

The gyoza had the perfect browned base and tender skin. The filling was a mixture of pork and chives – good but nothing out of the ordinary.

Gyoza – pan fried pork dumpling $6

The croquettes were up next. They had a crispy crumbed outer and a soft creamy inner and were topped with a sweet sauce. I liked these but the others thought it was just okay.

Kani cream croquette – deep fried crab cream cake $5.80

Mr M had talked up the wagyu and we weren’t disappointed when it came. The piece of meat had quite a bit of sinew through it like porterhouse, except that I normally have to cut it out of a porterhouse because it is too tough. Surprisingly the sinew was very soft, as was the rest of the meat – almost melt in your mouth even without any visible marbling. The barbecue sauce accompaniment was perfect with the beef.

Wagyu steak – charcoal grilled Japanese premium beef $19.50

I ordered this dish because I love gratin and anything with melted cheese! The octopus balls were nice and brown and so tasty. I found the cheese sauce a bit grainy, but it went well with the smooth texture of the octopus balls. The octopus tentacles were chopped finely and not chewy at all.

Octopus ball gratin $6.50

The next dish didn’t visually look pleasing but OMG it tasted fantastic! The ‘tartar’ sauce actually turned out to be sort of an egg salad, with mayonnaise and very finely chopped egg. The chicken was superbly crunchy outside and moist on the inside without being oily at all. The marinade was delicious but tasted even better with the sauce – this was hubby and I’s favourite dish of the night.

Chicken Namban – deep fried buttered chicken with sweet vinegar sauce, topped by tartar sauce $7.50

The last dish was the spicy miso sliced beef. I have now come to realise that spicy miso sauce tastes nothing like the miso I am used to in miso soup. This spicy miso sauce was similar to a barbecue sauce but not as tangy. The beef was sitting on a bed of beanshoots, cabbage, capsicum and carrot. I liked how thinly the beef was sliced.

Spicy Miso Yakiniku – pan fried sliced beef & veg in spicy miso sauce $15

It turned out to be a lot of food and the last beef dish pushed us over the “too full” edge. However, when the waitress appeared asking if we would like to see the dessert menu, how could I say no?! The dessert menu was separate to the menu you are given at the start, though I wish it was included so I would have known to save room! I liked the sound of the red bean and mochi spring rolls served with black sesame ice cream so I convinced the others that surely we could fit in a small dessert between the four of us?

The red bean filling with the chewy white mochi was nice, but the spring roll pastry didn’t seem to go well with it. To me, the spring roll pastry is much more suited to use with savoury ingredients than sweet. The black sesame ice cream was vanilla ice cream that had black sesame seeds through it, meaning that you occasionally had to bite on the sesame seeds. It would have worked much better if they ground the black sesame seeds and mixed it through the ice cream.

Red bean & mochi spring roll served with black sesame ice cream $5

Overall: The food was very, very good – this place is on my recommended list! Reviews from people who have gone to the upstairs yakiniku don’t rate it highly so I would suggest making a booking for the ground level restaurant. I love the small dishes which allow you to try more things. Everything was reasonably priced. Our waitress, Miki, was adorable and very helpful.

Must try dishes are the chicken namban and the wagyu steak. My least favourite dish was the chicken wings.

Would I return? Yes, definitely. There are so many other dishes I want to try!

Over & Out, Rilsta xx

Maedaya on Urbanspoon

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Jackie October 14, 2009 at 7:45 pm

Mmmm, I think if I didn't LOVE Japanese food, I'd be a bit annoyed at all these Izakaya joints popping up about the place.

Luckily, my appetite for Japanese food knows no bounds, so I'm quite happy to try them all! Will have to add this one to the list.


Conor @ HoldtheBeef October 15, 2009 at 12:59 am

That chicken namban looks mighty good (even for someone who is still bursting at the seams from eating way too much chicken for dinner). Love the plates too!


Esz October 15, 2009 at 8:54 am

Love this place too. Mmmmm. I want to go back so bad but we've moved across town. We had the chicken katsu which was really nice and I love all the skewers.

One thing to note is that they dont do bookings for over 8 people downstairs as they dont have the room. Its a very tiny space! But awesome nonetheless. 😀


charlene October 15, 2009 at 6:06 pm

OH MY it looks so delicious. Would love to try it soon. I love okonomiyaki too 🙂 And that dish that didnt look visually appetising, isn't it more satisfying when it meets above your expectations 🙂


Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella October 16, 2009 at 1:29 am

I really miss Izakaya food! It's what we ate all the time when I lived in Japan. I've started to make okonomiyaki again at home which is really nice but so easy which is good for weeknights 🙂


Iron Chef Shellie October 16, 2009 at 7:22 am

I've been wanting to try this place ever since I saw it on Cool Hunter. Love the look of all those ropes hanging.

Glad the food is also good!!


Anita October 16, 2009 at 8:14 am

The cheese and bacon skewer looks very nice (as does all the other food)


Leona @ Pigged-Out October 16, 2009 at 9:39 am

Great posttttt!! and loving your blog ^_^

Bridge road! does this mean you managed to fit in some shopping too? hehe (from memory that was the st with the outlets?)

Hitting melbourne (I loveeee melbourneee) in january or a week for the australian open will be on the look-out for restaurants <3 <3 to fatten my belly hehe


Adrian @ Food Rehab October 18, 2009 at 2:02 pm

Nice seeing you again last night! I'm pizza'd out.

croquettes- these babies at Ben K's kick ass. Droolong….


Rilsta October 18, 2009 at 7:18 pm

Hi Jackie: Not that I have been to many izakayas but this one is fabulous!

Hi Conor: I love the plates too – Japanese plates always look so much better than plain white ones (though all my plates are white!).

Hi Esz: Thanks for letting me know about the no bookings for over 8 ppl!

Hi Charlene: Definitely give it a go and try the chicken namban!

Hi Lorraine: I have never made okonomiyaki at home – will have to try out your recipe!

Hi Iron Chef Shellie: You should go – I reckon you'd love it!

Hi Anita: The cheese and bacon skewer was one of the best things we had!

Hi Leona: Aww, thanks! 🙂 Maedaya is a bit further down than the shopping part! Put this on your list!

Hi Adrian: You too! I can imagine you would be pizza'd out with your 19th salami pizza!


Louise October 7, 2013 at 8:05 pm

We went to Maedaya tonight for my daughters 8th birthday and the kids just love it…all good!


Caz October 22, 2015 at 5:28 pm

Thanks you for the menu description. My daughter and I are visiting Maedaya tomorrow night & looking very forward to the experience.


April@MyFoodTrail November 5, 2015 at 7:12 pm

Hope you liked Maedaya. The menu is a bit different now as it was a while since I posted, but hope you still enjoyed it!


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