Naked Japan

99 Victoria Avenue
Albert Park, VIC 3206
03 9686 8199

We were walking along Victoria Ave, a big cone of Jock’s ice cream in hand, when Jo pointed out this place.
Naked Japan.
So Hole-in-the-wall. Looks good, let’s try there soon!

The staff were looking slightly disgruntled about my photo-taking. So I sneaked a couple only of the interior.

We got there on a Saturday evening to find that it was really packed. Jo asked them to see if they can squeeze us in, the friendly waitress found us a spot on the bar table facing out. It’s perfect. We can people watch and enjoy the sunset from our ‘window’ seats.

I like the simple, clean uniforms that the waitresses have. They remind me of Muji. The girls are Japanese too, which adds that touch of authenticity to the eatery.
It’s quite a family crowd, with a few young couples. And a table of friends. I assume most of them live nearby and take a stroll down here for a pleasant evening meal.

Nasu Dengaku $8.50
Deep fried eggplant topped with a light miso paste sauce
Being an eggplant lover, I am surprised I have never eaten this Japanese-style eggplant dish. I love the texture of cooked eggplant and this one came to us hot and freshly cooked, albeit quite oily. It’s Jo’s favourite and she tells me that the sauce tasted good. Personally, I find miso paste hard to appreciate when it’s put on food neat. The eggplant was served on a piece of paper, and because it was so oily, bits of paper started coming off with the eggplant as we ate it.
Kinoko Kara Age $7.00
Deep fried mushrooms marinated in a ginger and sweet soy sauce
Looks scrummy. Decent selection of field, oyster, shiitake and straw mushrooms. However, there was a lot of oil inside and outside the fried batter. It made the batter soggy and not crisp. Not appetising.

I really like that waving cat sitting on top of a fish
Yakiniku $17.00
Thinly sliced chargrilled scotch fillet with Japanese-style BBQ sauce
We liked this dish. The beef slices had a great char-grilled flavour, although I somehow wished the sauce was a little less sweet. I don’t know why, but to me this dish didn’t taste very Japanese. There was something missing in the sauce.
Soba Salad $12.00
Cold buckwheat noodles topped on fresh salad with sesame dressing
A nice healthy dish for a Summer’s day. Again it somehow didn’t look or taste very Japanese to me. I’ve tasted better sesame dressing, and all the greens made the salad wet and diluted the dressing. The soba noodles were unfortunately overcooked and soft.
This bustling eatery along Victoria Ave has its merits. The ambience is great as you can sit and enjoy the quiet residential street life along Albert Park while having home-style Japanese food. Prices are pretty reasonable too! I can see why the locals would pop in here for a meal, it’s relaxing and pleasant with friendly Japanese staff serving you.
But for food-fussy diners like Jo and I, we are unlikely to return because the food quality wasn’t up to scratch for us. There are better, albeit pricier, Japanese joints up the road.
View Map Of Reviews in a larger map
Naked Japan on Urbanspoon