Black Dog Gallery is a new contemporary Japanese cafe located in a small complex in the well to do suburb of Tusmore. The “Black Dog” part of the name is a reference to the owners pet, while “Gallery” has two different meanings. It refers to the local artwork displayed on one of the main walls which are available for purchase, but it also refers to the artistic presentation of the dishes on offer.
Only open during the day, Black Dog Gallery offers a small selection of contemporary Japanese breakfast items which are equivalent to the Western “big breakfast”. The dishes are definitely a lot healthier and are available in gluten free, vegan and vegetarian. After 10am, customers are able to order Ramen which is available in 3 different types of soup and your choice of toppings.
For a beverage, I started off with one of their specialty Japanese green teas; the Wild Cherry. Presented on a wooden chopping board, this tea is a blend of black and green tea leaves with dried fruit and flower petals. The sweet aroma of fresh picked berries and cherry blossoms is really a treat for the senses, but more importantly, the tea tastes great!
As a starter, I went for the Ramen Sliders which contains char sui pork, spicy spring onion, menma (a condiment made from bamboo shoots) and kewpie mayo in a ramen bun. This is the not the first time I’ve had a ramen bun, but this was done particularly well. It had just the right amount of crisp, and wasn’t too soft or too hard. The char sui pork didn’t look like the Chinese variety that I am used to, but the taste was just right. The spicy spring onion added good depth while the kewpie mayo harmonised all the elements.
For the main, I had the Classic Black Dog Brekky which came with grilled Atlantic salmon, a salted soft boiled egg, celery, diakon radish, fish cake salad, pickled vegetables and ume (Japanese apricot). All the main breakfast items come with a serve of steamed rice and miso soup. The salmon was cooked to perfection. The exterior was slightly crisp while the inside had a lovely pink centre. The soft boiled egg had a subtle saltiness which was well balanced by the sweet and tangy pickled vegetables. A very healthy, light and refreshing breakfast.
For dessert, I had the pancakes which is served with a yuzu mascarpone and sake poached apricot. These pancakes are huge and are enough for a meal in themselves. The pancakes were light and fluffy, and were delicious with the syrup and icing sugar. The mascarpone was smooth and creamy, however, the citrus flavour of the yuzu was very subtle. On the other hand, the sake poached apricot just tasted like sake. All in all, a very delicious and satisfying dessert.
The Black Dog Gallery breaks from Japanese tradition and brings you a selection of healthy and modern dishes. The owner, Jun, is truly passionate about cooking and it shows in his well executed dishes. Combine this with the cosy surrounds and the exceptional service, and customers are in for a real treat. Main meals start from $10.50 and go all the way up to $20, which is quite good for what you get.
I certainly look forward to trying some of their Ramen on my next visit. This place is definitely worth checking out if you’re in the area.
WHERE: 4/455 Greenhill Rd, Tusmore