No sooner had I waved Jess off to LA then I had to say cheerio to another of my friends who was heading overseas. It’s clearly the time to travel! And I am jealous as all hell! (Hayley, you got to go to Sweden last January, don’t get greedy)
Anyway, the delightful Miss Brinkman was most keen to see me before jetting off to London, and suggested that we do so by having dinner at Wood Spoon Kitchen, which she had discovered earlier in the week and became so enamoured with that she made several repeat visits in that week alone. I was excited as I had heard across the blogospheres that they do ongiri very well, so heck yes I was down for this plan.
We firstly ordered edemame, which is to be expected, you all know I can’t pass it up. And they were good, as expected (I seriously have never had bad edemame anywhere. Maybe you know different, though, are there places I should edemame-avoid?). We also got ourselves some agedashi tofu, which was vegan. Hoorah! In fact there’s a lot of vegan goodness at Wood Spoon, and all clearly marked on the menu. I was intrigued by this dish as instead of a traditional dashi-style broth it came out sitting in a puddle of soy sauce dressing. It was still delicious, the soy all soaked up into the crispy outside of the tofu resulting in that seductive contrast of saucy yet crisp outside with the melty tofu-gasm within that makes me write love letters to agedashi tofu pretty much every day.
On to the ongiri set, of which you can choose three from a rather extensive list; we ended up going with seaweed, teriyaki beef and sansai (Japanese mountain vegetables, and including bamboo shoots and mushrooms). The ongiri were served with yet more edemame (never a bad thing) and tart pickled vegies.The seaweed one had standard seaweed salad threaded through it and was nice, and Miss Brinkman heartily tucked into the teriyaki beef, but my heart belonged to the sansai, oh my, it was wonderful. There’s something about sansai vegetables that I find so unusual and refreshing, I can’t get enough of them. The ongiri themselves held their shapes well as you bit into them, yet were not gluggy or gluey at all, very well done.
For her main Miss Brinkman went with the miso soup with ramen, sweet potato, pumpkin, vegies, tofu and chicken breast, which is her favourite dish. Needless to say, she liked it, she liked it a lot! For my main I had the vegie goma udon with sansai, egg, lotus and beancurd in homemade sesame dressing. This was the only dish that I wasn’t overly fond of, and actually left only half eaten, but I think this was more due to a misunderstanding by myself as to what the menu description actually meant. I figured that ‘sesame dressing’ meant a very light sauce, and was definitely not expecting a dish that was covered in a very thick dressing the texture and consistency of satay sauce. I am extremely un-fond of satay sauce, and found after I’d extracted the vegetables that I didn’t feel up to eating noodles covered in something so reminiscent of that sauce most unpleasant to my palate, so decided instead to focus on gobbling up the remaining edemame. I’m sure, however, people more in love with thick sauces than me would have enjoyed the dish.
I think I am starting to subsist near purely on plum wine. I may have an addiction. I have it every time I go out for Japanese, and as you may have noticed I go out for Japanese quite a bit. Maybe it’s all part of a greater Japanese food addiction. Miss Brinkman will not help me here, she is a Japanese food-eating facilitator! And once she returns to Melbourne’s fair shores expect more of our Japanese cuisine adventures.
Wood Spoon Kitchen
88 Smith Street, Collingwood
Ph: 9416 0588