Authentic Japanese @ Kenzan, Collins Street, Melbourne CBD

Dining at Kenzan is always a treat. Service-wise, they are always prompt and efficient. They even ask you which dishes to bring out first or in what succession. What I wasn't prepared for was the very short menu at lunch. But don't get me wrong - the food was still excellent if you're after very authentic Japanese cuisine.

In terms of the crowd, I noticed that most of the diners were men in suits, coming in for business lunches. There was so much testosterone about the place, if almost felt like I was in the midst of a sports game, only that I'm in a Japanese restaurant - and a good one at that.

We ordered the Kenzan Gozen bento box - a two tier bento box with 2 prawn dumplings, tempura, three pieces of sushi, sashimi, miso soup and a bowl of rice. I thought this was quite superb for $36 and everything was fresh and well made. I didn't like the prawn dumpling that much because I found the texture too soft but the contents had a sweet seafood taste to it and it was quite obvious that it was handmade.

Along with this, we also had...

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Agedashi Tofu ($16.50) - The texture of the sauce was a bit odd. It's not as watery as most of the other variations of this dish that I've had. The sauce was not as salty and it clings to the tofu nicely. I like the generous slivers of shiitake mushrooms. The tofu was not too soft as well and was a bit on the firm side so there was a bite to it. 

Main size of Sashimi with miso soup and a bowl of premium imported rice ($30) - I thought this was really excellent. The sashimi slices were wider and thinner compared to the ones served on the bento box which were shorter and thicker. Very fresh and light with no fishy aftertaste. 

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