POPULAR SPOT: Asa Don is satisfying lovers of Japanese food. Picture: Jonathan CarrollNOVOCASTRIANS with an enjoyment of Japanese cuisine that goes beyond pre-packaged sushi were saddened to see Darby Street’s Kitami close its doors a couple of years ago.
Luckily, authentic Japanese eatery Asa Don popped up not long after and has been producing delicious and authentic Japanese cuisine ever since.
The pocket-sized eatery is nestled close to King Street’s Tower Cinemas, with the unembellished classic east-end facade almost causing the average passer-by to miss it.
But those who have tasted Asa Don’s food seem to continuously fill the restaurant on a weekly basis with a rich variety of regulars, old and young.
The kitchen is headed up by pint-sized owner Asiko Dalby who, along with a team of Japanese chefs, provides lunch and dinner to a typically packed restaurant.
The udon noodle soups are a very popular dish as the weather cools, with the choice of tempura udon – prawn and vegetable tempura served with udon noodles in a hot soup, and tori nunban – chicken and shallots served with udon noodles in a hot soup, among others.
There’s also an extensive range of freshly rolled sushi served in either a half or full portion, with such delicious offerings as salmon and vegetable rolls, teriyaki chicken and avocado rolls and vegetable rolls.
Quirky furniture fills the eatery, with round, rectangular and square tables mismatched with comfortable vintage chairs filling the inside and courtyard.
Cosy warm blankets in wicker baskets are spotted through the courtyard, ensuring the customer is never uncomfortable dining outside even in the dead of winter.
Due to the unexpected success of the restaurant, a table can be hard to come by without a booking. But takeaway is never a problem and there is a constant stream of hungry people coming and leaving with steaming, fragrant dishes at lunch and dinnertime.
Asa Don is open Tuesday to Friday, 11am to 2.30pm and 4.30pm to 8pm and Saturday from 5pm to 9pm. 4929 1035.