Oishii! Try saying that the next time you buy food from the newly opened Japanese Stall and you might just get a free salad alongside your dish. We aren’t even kidding on this. (Okay this might have more to do with the fact that the dish already comes with a free salad than the fact that you complimented their dish as “delicious”, but well, a salad’s a salad.)
After spending the majority of 2016 closed and unoccupied, the fourth store from the left has finally found its new owners. Welcome to the canteen family Japanese Food!
So what new offerings does Japanese Food bring to the wide array of cuisine that we can find in VJ? VPress, along with The Professional Connoisseurs of VJ, bring to you a glimpse of what to expect from the newly opened store as well as exclusive insights from the Japanese Stall vendor himself.
Menu of the Japanese Stall
Although the prices listed on the menu might be on the high side and may deter those who normally get their meals at the price of $2.00, remember to keep in mind that this is Japanese cuisine, one that always costs more than other cuisines. So don’t be too quick in crossing this stall off your list. Furthermore, the stall vendors worked as part of a restaurant previously, so you can be sure that the dishes prepared are at least that of restaurant quality. But experience alone is not everything, so the verdicts by The Professional Connoisseurs of VJ are here to affirm the quality of their food!
Let’s start off with the Marinated Cherry Tomatoes, which are usually $1, but as part of their opening day special, were offered for free. The sweetness of the tomatoes took one of the connoisseurs by surprise, with him only stopping to exclaim “Eh! It’s really nice, I like it!” before popping the rest of the tomatoes into his mouth one after another. He added on that the dish really fulfilled its purpose as an appetiser, helping to open up your appetite. Veggie lovers are sure to enjoy this new guilt free addition to the canteen.
Moving on to the star of the show, the Dons! The three Dons we tasted today were the Oyaku, Chicken Teriyaki and Buta Yaki Don. All splendid dishes much to our delight. Fellow food Instagrammers will also be elated as the food presentation is definitely ‘on point’. The Japanese Stall offers a variety of different dons, ranging from Buta Yaki (Pork) to Oyaku.
The Oyaku don, which is personally recommended by the stall owner himself, is definitely the highlight of the menu. Offering a nice blend of egg, onions and grilled chicken, this dish is sure to satisfy your taste buds. The free salad which was promoted on the menu felt rather unnecessary for this dish given that the taste was plenty powerful even without it.
The Teriyaki Chicken Don, on the other hand, is a relatively simpler dish comprising of only chicken and the salad. Much to our surprise, the seaweed made the dish feel truly more Japanese. Probably as close as you can get to authentic Japanese food for under $3.00 anyway. Unlike the Oyako don, there were no onions in this dish. Hence, the salad gave the don the extra crunch that was positively lacking.
Finally, our last dish of the day. The Buta Yaki or Pork Don. This dish replaces the chicken with none other than pork. A welcome change as the pork slices do add more flavour to the menu. The Buta Yaki slices were remarkably tender and in a couple of bites they quickly disappeared into the void that was our stomachs. Our only problem with this dish was that there was simply not enough Buta Yaki, we demand MORE!
But maybe having so much meat isn’t your cup of tea? Have no fear, Seafood Don is near!
“We will introduce the Seafood Don once there are more people in the school. Currently, I’ve heard that about 100 students are away on camp and the new J1s have not yet stepped into the school” said the stall vendor.
Most of you have probably also noticed the shorter queues in the canteen. While this bodes well for you, it also means that stall vendors have a harder time making profits of their dishes, and for a seafood dish to reap in the profits, well, they would need a substantially larger student population.
It was a great day for The Professional Connoisseurs of VJ as we left with full bellies and satisfied hearts. The Japanese Stall is certainly a must try for all Victorians and I’m sure that you, as well as us, all hope that the metal grill at the Japanese Stall will stay up for the rest of the year. So Victorians, hunger for Japanese cuisine today!
Yordan Yit, 16S63
Chloe Tan, 16S63
[Editor’s Note: If you have any contentions with the reviews given by The Professional Connoisseurs of VJ, do include it in the comments below and we will be sure to drop them a note!]