Maru Japanese and Korean Restaurant

takeaway gyoza

date of visit: Saturday 26 November 2011

We actually had dinner more or less all lined up and at the last moment we decided we just couldn’t be stuffed cooking. What to do, what to do … pizza? fish and chips? Neither of those options was really taking our fancy but then I remembered seeing Maru from the bus one afternoon.

Maru (no website, but you can see the menu on UrbanSpoon) is a relatively new Japanese and Korean restaurant in the small group of shops just outside Flinders Hospital. It’s tiny which is worth bearing in mind if you’re planning a visit. In our case, we were planning on takeaway, which was very fortunate because if we’d turned up at 7pm on a Saturday night there’s a good chance we would have been turned away.

The menu does a good job of covering the Japanese and Korean classics: sushi and sashimi, tempura, bento boxes, noodles and (most importantly if you’re me!) bibimbap. We ordered steamed gyoza, bibimbap and the spicy pork stone pot – obviously not served in a stone pot for takeaway purposes! This came to the princely sum of $34.

Having been pleased with the cheerful phone manner of whoever took my order, it was great to arrive at the restaurant and receive the same level of service. Our food was ready (always a plus!) and off I trotted, my stomach rumbling away as I drove home.

The gyoza, which we scoffed quite quickly, were good. They look rather anaemic in the photo (blame that on being steamed, but we really didn’t think that fried would survive the take away journey) but they were tasty, with plenty of spring onion.

Main course wise, I ploughed through my bibimbap like a woman possessed. It was great – all the vegetables were fresh and crunchy, and the supplied chilli sauce (gochujang) was really hot. Of course, not being in a hot stone pot did mean the rice lacked its crispy base but if you’re too lazy to go to the restaurant to eat you can hardly complain!

Andy’s spicy pork stone pot was also good (I did try some but it was after I’d started slathering my bibimbap in gochujang so my taste buds might have been a little fried …). While nowhere near as spicy as my chilli sauce laced bibimbap it did have some heat to it and it was such a massive portion that he had the remainder for lunch the next day.

Hopefully you can tell that we really enjoyed our takeaway and actually eating in at the restaurant is definitely on the cards.

Maru Japanese and Korean Restaurant on Urbanspoon

3/4 Rupert Avenue (at the entrance to Flinders Medical Centre)
Bedford Park SA 5042
phone 08 8374 3668

Yakumi, Glenelg

date of visit:  Sat 28 August 2010

Yakumi, a tiny Japanese restaurant on Jetty Road, Glenelg has been something of a favourite venue amongst my extended family for quite some time.  So much so that my uncle and aunt actually booked out the whole restaurant for my cousin’s 21st birthday.

So you might be thinking that you’re about to read about the family’s latest, greatest experience, eating fabulous Japanese food and enjoying an all round top night out.

You could not be further from the truth.

There aren’t many seats at the Yakumi as it’s popular and, as we were planning a Saturday evening sortie, my father rang the Tuesdsay beforehand to book a table for 6 people for 7:30pm.  The phone was answered, the booking was taken (including name and contact number) and the family promptly put the date in its collective diary.

And when we arrived at the restaurant on Saturday night we found my uncle and aunt on the footpath … apparently not a record of our booking in sight.  With a full restaurant there was nothing that could be done except leave and find somewhere else to eat – always a handy thing to do as it pushes 8pm on a Saturday night.

So there’s no raving about the food here, just a comment on how truly awful service is at the Yakumi.  Taking a booking isn’t rocket science … 6 people, 7:30pm, Saturday … I’m pretty sure even I could manage it.  And if I ran a restaurant, I’d want to keep both potential customers happy and I’d be making sure that repeat customers keep on coming back – and that starts by not messing up bookings.

I’m prepared to accept that mistakes happen and bookings do get lost … but this isn’t actually the first time my family has had this experience so we can only conclude that while whatever happens in the kitchen at the Yakumi might be good, front of house leaves a lot to be desired.

Perhaps you won’t mind the embarrassment and hassle that a misplaced booking causes but for us, it’s more than a good enough excuse to check out some of Adelaide’s other Japanese restaurants.


Terrible Service

If your front line staff can’t take a booking, customers will never have the opportunity to try your food. The eating out experience starts when the phone is first answered …

Rating:0.5 stars

Yakumi on Urbanspoon