Kenji, Adelaide

There have been many rave reviews on Kenji – the modern Japanese restaurant located on Hutt St in the Adelaide city. Seeing that I was to get my first paycheck ever since moving back, what a better way to celebrate it than good food and as always, good company!

I was definitely looking forward to Kenji and seeing how well it stacked up to the food I consumed in Sydney… cause if you know me, I loveeeeeeeeeeeeee the food in Sydney!

Interior with contemporary green feature wall.

I found it to be too cutesy and quite a novelty which I don’t think teams up well with their “fine dining” persona that they’re trying to exude.

kenji japanese olives
Olives – fresh and extremely flavourful dressing.

kenji, moscato
Two Hands moscato, $8.00 per glass.

What better way to kick off the night than with an appetiser tasting plate to see what Kenji had to offer.

kenji appetisers

kenji appetisers
Appetisers; $18.00 per head (minimum order of 2, $36.00)

A shot of lobster/bisque: super super salty, creamy soup but not thick and heavy.

Confit chicken and poached prawn mixed with sesame miso, pineapple chutney: sweet flavours and mushy texture.

Yuzu marinated octopus and artichokes with kipfler potatoes, crispy dried kingfish skin: the octopus was chewy and the supposedly crispy dried kingfish skin was quite the opposite – chewy and super tough!

Poached pear, mountain caviar and wakame seaweed mixed with tofu paste: N found this to be inedible due to the strange mix of flavours and its stodgy texture. (spoon appetiser)

Cured salmon and green tea noodle cabbage roll with grilled eel, and egg yolk vinagrette: flavoursome, nice blend of flavours.

Swordfish in soy and ginger jelly with rockmelon salsa, lotus root chip: the chip was soggy, the soy jelly salty, and the salsa lost its flavour within the other elements. Very strange combination of flavours.

Spicy tuna and blue swimmer crab cake with grape: mediocre.

Now moving onto our other dishes after a disappointing start:

kenji sashimi ice bowl
Small sashimi in ice bowl; $18.00

Hutt roll: scallop, avocado, cucumber, fried shallot, salmon roe; $17.00

Creamy sushi accompanied with fresh scallops and cruncy crispy shallots – tasty but not worth its price in my books.

Adelaide roll: prawn, apple, cucumber, avocado, tobiko (flying fish roe); $15.00

Nice touch with the apple – texture and flavour!

The sushi rolls were good, but to think that I could’ve gotten the same thing elsewhere for a fraction of the price… well bleh! I wanted these to blow me away, and they just didn’t.

Can things get any worse through dessert?

kenji, dessert, souffle
Banana and chocolate souffle with pouring cream and vanilla ice cream; $15.00

The souffle itself was extremely soggy and eggy. A forgettable dessert, so forgetful that we forgot that there was supposed to be banana in it, but unfortunately, there was no banana aroma or taste.. boo!

green tea and chocolate fondant
Green tea and chocolate soft centred pudding with mango ice cream; $13.50

Overly sweet – nothing bad, but nothing great either.

kenji petite fours
Complimentary hazelnut chocolates

I’ve got to say, I’m going to be one of the very people who didn’t like Kenji at all. What a disappointment… the food didn’t live up to the hype, the flavours were all over the place and well… our total bill of $130.50 wasn’t a nice parting gift for the night either.


Shop 5, 242 Hutt St
Adelaide 5000 SA
P 08 8232 0944

Kenji Modern Japanese on Urbanspoon

6 comments for “Kenji, Adelaide

  1. February 18, 2010 at 9:06 AM

    Love the presentation of the sashimi in the ice bowl, and the appetizer plate looks sooo good! It’s a shame it didn’t live up to expectations though!

    • debbii
      February 18, 2010 at 10:33 AM

      Every time a dish came out, I was ooh-ing and ahh-ing… shame it didn’t taste as good as it looked. 🙂


  2. March 30, 2010 at 2:00 AM

    wow, great review, i love japanese food, will have to go check it out!

    • debbii
      March 30, 2010 at 12:12 PM

      Yep! I just had Japanese for lunch and dinner today, and am not Japped out yet! Do let me know how your dining experience with Kenji goes. =)


  3. August 6, 2010 at 6:55 AM

    You must go back for the pork belly – it is to die for!

    • debbii
      August 7, 2010 at 11:02 AM

      Noted! Although I want to exhaust all my Japanese options in Adelaide before heading back. LOL.

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