Bentoya, date night

115 Hardware St
Melbourne, 3000
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It’s been a while, 5 months actually! We realised when Nana L came over to baby-sit that the last time we did this Finn was 3 months old. Silly really, when nana is only a few streets away and is always more than happy to come over and play with Finn. How time does get away from you! We must do this more often. It was so refreshing to spend a whole uninterrupted evening enjoying each other’s company (and lots of good food!)

date night
(Sorry about the poor image quality, the lady who kindly offered to take this photo of us unfortunately didn’t know how to set my camera and the exposure is all wrong).

We went to Bentoya because we had a Groupon. It was $59 for 10 courses for two people plus one drink each. Excellent value and the service and food turned out to be exceptional. I kept thinking to myself as I looked around the intimate setting, with beautiful crockery and delicious food in the centre of the CBD, why would this place need to do coupons? I would have happily have paid full price.


With Mr J, no mater how long it’s been since we had some alone time I never worry that we will run out of things to talk about but I sometimes do worry I will be too tired to hold down a conversation! But after a little pot of sake, a Cadbury cream egg that I ate in the car and some deliciously hot and salty edamame (just the way I like it), I was feeling much better. As always, Mr J reminded me of some of the reasons why I fell in love with him, with his silly jokes and the way he really listens to me.


Salmon Sashmi: Fresh, tasty, delicious, beautifully presented.


Pork Gyoza: Crispy on the outside, bursting with juicy flavour within.


Steak Tataki: Raw beef with hard-boiled quail eggs. This freaked me out having never eaten raw beef or quail eggs but it was admittedly quite delicious if you didn’t think too hard about it. A bit like sashimi but without the fish flavour. The sesame dressing was tasty.


Yakitori: We both goobled this up very quickly. Hot and tasty.


Octopus Balls: Surprisingly delicious with a nice balance of octopus and potato on the inside and a crispy outer-shell. This was hilarious because Mr J ate one first and he was looking disappointed and pearing into his half eaten ball, so I asked how it was. “Alright,” he said “but I couldn’t find my tiny little octopus inside”. Apparently he had misheard the waitress and thought she had said each ball had a tiny octopus inside. I found the image of this a crack up for some reason.


Tempura Root Vegetables: Light crispy bater, with salty and slighty spicy seasoning. Yum!


Pork and udon soup: Tasty and peppery. The only dish I didn’t like but only because I don’t like pepper (I went off it when I was pregnant with Finn and never got the taste for it back).


Time for another drink: Plum wine, mmm.


Wafu steak (signature dish): The perfect succulent finish with a light and slightly creamy goma dressing and seaweed salad (served with rice).


To finish: Mochi, sweet and sticky made from glutinous rice. The fillings were green tea and red bean. I loved both. Mr J was not a fan but he never is of this kind of thing, you have to be into the slightly weird rubbery texture to like it (I totally am!). Served with a roasted rice and green tea, the perfect end to a perfect meal.


And the part I look forward to even more than dessert, getting home and holding my little sleeping boy in my arms again.


I would definetely recommend Bentoya and I expect we will be returning sans vouchers. They are happy to accommodate kids, although there are no high-chairs and the mood may be better suited to a night out without the kids.

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