It was a delightful Monday afternoon with no expectations whatsoever and here I was thinking that I would be going to just another Japanese restaurant. Boy was I wrong. Mugen House has two establishments in Adelaide. One is right in the CBD and the other one is here in Glenelg. Both were introduced as the first “All You Can Eat” Japanese restaurants in Adelaide (with a choice of a la carte if you choose to do so) However, their Glenelg store is now exclusively a la carte and this is when we came in to try their menu.
Lotus Root Chips – Whenever I go to a restaurant and they have this on the menu my heart sings quietly. It’s a must order, something light, crunchy, easy on the stomach while waiting for the bigger meals to come. This is my new favourite source for these so far! Perfect amount of seasonings and well cooked.
Yakitori Chicken – Tender chicken that comes on 2 skewers. Easily demolished as one of the first dishes we tried. Their aroma came a long way away from the kitchen! Using teriyaki sauce as their main seller but the best part about it, if you had an allergy toward fructose or soy, you can always tell them and they will change it to ‘salt and pepper’ flavour!
Salmon Skewers – 2 salmon pieces per skewers, grilled lightly and ready to serve just as it is with teriyaki sauce. Simple, flavoursome and satisfying for a light appetiser.
Takoyaki – Filled with octopus brushed with Takoyaki sauce, it has created such amazing flavour with generous amount of dried bonito on top. It is basically the type of Takoyaki you would expect from any Japanese restaurant. Soft, yet you can taste the texture bits of cut up octopus.
Kaarage – It’s always a great achievement when your Kaarage is actually crispy, just the way it should be. And we can now attest that the Mugen House Glenelg cook their Kaarage to perfection. I was really enjoying mine.
Oysters – With 6 different flavours available, we had the Natural Oyster, which is the popular one, squeezed with fresh lemon juice. Kogane Yaki which is a grilled torch mayonnaise on top of the oyster, if you like creamy and buttery flavour you would enjoy this tiny bite of heaven. Red Wine Vinnagrette and Japanese Vinagrette, which we found a little sweeter than the red wine Vinagrette. Both have this tangy flavour and small bits of red onion to garnish on top which compliments both the oysters beautifully.
Next would be the Ponzu. It is light and can be described as similar to the natural oyster with lemon but with a lot less sour flavour. If you can’t handle sour well, this one is for you. Last was our love for their Yuzu Mayonnaise oyster! The mixture of creamy, sour and amazing texture of the oyster happening in your mouth all at once was delicious.
Aburi Salmon Sashimi with a hint of sesame seeds and chilli radish. I personally topped my slice with a little bit of seaweed slice provided in the middle of the plate to gain that chewy texture and add extra “sea”food flavour
Beef Tataki – Basically like a carpaccio using beef fillet that are thinly sliced, marinate in red onion dressing and topped with spring onion. Soft texture that can easily slide in your mouth. This dish is coeliac friendly!
Prawn Tempura – I’m always a big fan of tempura and for something as simple as tempura I’m quite fussy. Yet Mugen House nailed this. Crunchy on the outside and not oily at all on the inside. It has the most beautiful blend of batter and tempura dipping sauce. It’s a must order.
Fried Prawns – With mayonnaise and salad on the side. Two words: So good! The prawns were still crunchy yet the mayonnaise makes it creamy. Add a squirt of lemon on top and it complements the dish well.
Gyoza Chicken – Lightly pan fried dumplings with chicken filling and ponzu dressing on the side. They don’t make it too crispy on the outside but everything worked really well together. With or without the dipping sauce the dumpling itself is already very tasty in our opinion.
Volcano Roll – Salmon, Avocado Prawn with cut asparagus and mixed with volcano sauce. As you can guess from the name this is one spicy sushi. I personally think it’s still a mild one so don’t be discouraged by its name. We would like to challenge you to try this one because you really don’t want to miss this delicious dish.
Soft Shell Crab Sushi Roll – the name speaks for itself. This soft shell crab sushi had my heart the moment I took a bite of it. With generous size of the roll it is almost impossible to eat it in one go, they are massive! Packed with spicy teriyaki sauce, this also came in a combination of cucumber, avocado, tobikko and spring onion.
Dragon Roll – This isn’t your normal size of seared tuna in your sushi roll. They are definitely a good chunky bite size. You can tell Mugen House is using only good quality products for their dishes from the texture, fresh taste of their seafood products. Our tuna is meaty and combined with avocado, spring onion, tobbiko and sriracha mayo this could easily be everyone’s favourite.
Spicy Salmon Avocado – With raw salmon inside the roll and topped with cooked salmon flakes outside, Mugen House created such an amazing texture with this one. Like I have mentioned, their spice level is mild, they are mixing spicy with mayonnaise so it always creates a creamy, buttery flavour for your rolls.
Sashimi Mori Awase – Last my personal favourite, because I always crave for this whenever I go to a Japanese Restaurant. 18 cuts of great quality seafood sashimi. With a mix of salmon, tuna, kingfish, scallops, prawns and whitefish. Beautifully presented on a plate. Just dipped the sashimi in soy sauce and wasabi and I was in heaven. Fresh out of the sea straight to your table.
Our experience in Mugen House Glenelg has been nothing but the best. Although Glenelg only do A’ la carte now, they still offer ‘all you can eat’ at their establishment in the city. After we had our feast here we are now now certain that we will be coming back sooner than we think, making the most out of our summer days and take advantage of the famous Glenelg beach since it’s only within walking distance from the store.
Words by Dee Pene from Adelaide Food Authority
WHERE: 20 Jetty Rd, Glenelg