Kenji Modern Japanese on Urbanspoon

Unlike the fictional dog Benji, Kenji is an avant-garde Japanese restaurant at the south end of Hutt Street.

Traditional Japanese feed is usually too simple to interest me, but Kenji's food is far more complex and interesting.

Cured fish

The cucumber and seaweed are very potent vegetable flavours, but I don't like cucumber, so this doesn't taste good to me. 6/10 otherwise.

I don't know what disease the fish had, but it's certainly not cured.

Shichimi roasted lamb rack

With goat curd, roasted pumpkin, blanched broccolini, pickled blackberries, mustard seed teriyaki sauce.

This is infused with all kinds of strong tastes. The mustard seed teriyaki adds a tea-like flavour, but the most surprising thing is the pickled blackberries. They taste like blackberry, but with a punch a lot like fennel.

Rhubarb open tart

With peach ice cream, lychee, walnut

While I peruse the menu, I look back over past feed reports, to see which desserts I've already eaten here. However, when I go to order my dessert, the waitress already knows which ones I've had. It's like the Twilght Zone. 8|

This dessert is very chewy. I hack it apart with my knife, and begin feeding. It's a very odd combination of tastes and textures. The chewy base is infused with tasty rhubarb, and a variety of other tastes — mint, walnut, lychee — randomly pop in. I usually don't like it when I have to carefully combine components on my plate, but here, anything goes well with the rhubarb and pastry.

Service friendly and informative. Seem to know juuuust what I like…