Dining Ballarat: more to Asahi than meets the eye

tuna tataki at Ashai Ballarat

Tuna tataki. Picture: Asahi

We had a voucher, given as a present, to put towards a meal at a range of restaurants, of which there were two in Ballaratia. We went with the Japanese option, Asahi. We’ve now been there three times. Yes, it’s that good.

The restaurant is attached to a motel and, through the window, looks pleasant but unremarkable — the chopsticks on the white-clothed tables are the main giveaway that this isn’t your usual guests’ eatery.

The food is as good as any I’ve had in Melbourne, the service usually top rate and always friendly, the wine list to my liking.

They do monthly specials to keep the menu ticking over — popular dishes may end up on the regular — and have a birthday club offering a generous discount in one’s birthday month. The tuna tataki ($14) is amazing. Teriyaki pork belly ($29): noms! And the tempura banana with ice cream ($12) the ideal dessert finish. Hell, even the coffee’s good!