Wednesday, September 18, 2013
RESTAURANT REVIEW - The Dojo, Austin, TX
Since April had an extra unplanned week in Austin to heal from her gall bladder surgery, she decided to make the most of it and eat some delicious food! She had heard all sorts of good things about The Dojo, so she and her friend Alloni took the hedgehogs out to see what all the fuss was about.
9070 Research Blvd., #305 Austin, TX 78757
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April had heard that The Dojo was one of the handful of new restaurants in town with vegan ramen, and was excited to try some. What she didn't realize was exactly how many other vegan options there would be on the menu!
Deciding on just one thing each seemed an impossible task to both April and Alloni, so they decided to pick a lot of different dishes. (Leftovers are always good, and it seemed like a good time to celebrate April being to eat All The Food after the gall bladder removal.) The hedgehogs, of course, urged them to get as much as possible (hoping that they could grab a taste of everything.)
The Okonomiyaki Style Potatoes (vegan version) were quite tasty, though April and Alloni weren't expecting French fries. There were four or five different things on top of the potatoes with flavors that all blended together nicely.
The Beets And Avocado Tempura was your basic veggie tempura, but the tempura coating definitely took a backseat to the perfectly-done beets and avocado (not overly greasy or "too fried").
The Tofu Steak was the definite winner for Favorite Dish for both April and Alloni. A semi-firm, creamy tofu block was immersed in a thick, sweet soy sauce with mushrooms and ultra-thin noodles.
The Nasu Scrambled (Stir-fried eggplant and tofu in red chili sauce) was tasty, and April particularly liked the eggplant.
The Veggie Gyoza were very good, but perhaps a touch on the oily side.
The Shichirin Yaki Veggie Set, at $13, was April and Alloni's most expensive purchase. Lightly seasoned raw beets, portabello mushrooms, and shishito peppers are meant to be cooked over the small "table grill" to the diner's preferred doneness, and then dipped in one of the accompanying sauces. It tasted good, but Alloni and April decided that next time, they could buy veggies and cook them at home for less, and have more money to spend on the other inventive dishes from The Dojo.
Finally, for the lovely ramen! The Veggie Miso Ramen, with bean sprouts, nori, fried tofu, scallions, and corn, was definitely delicious, with a flavorful broth and excellently-done noodles.
After all that food (part of which went home as leftovers), neither April nor Alloni had room for dessert (though the hedgehogs both claimed to be ready for some). Both the Homemade Coconut Ice Cream and the Mochi Tempura are vegan, and will certainly be on the list of things to get on April's second visit to The Dojo. Buttercup wondered if the Vanilla Plum Wine Float (vanilla ice cream and plum wine) could be made vegan with the substitution of the vegan coconut ice cream, and Hedgie pointed out that the Dojo Parfait could probably be made vegan with the ice cream substitution and the omission of yogurt and Pocky.
Completely stuffed, April and the hedgehogs went home to prepare for their imminent flight back to Kansas!