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Tucked away in Balnarring Village lies a small Japanese restaurant, Orita’s 2. As you step inside, you are instantly transported to a minimalist Tokyo City and warmed with a friendly greeting by the staff. Black wooden tables and chairs are neatly organized to seat slightly more than 20 people. Matching chopsticks rest in their colourful ‘bow-tie’ shaped handles while beautiful Japanese illustrations hang proudly on the wall.
A young man born and raised in Japan had a dream of owning his own Japanese-styled restaurant in Australia. His father had previously set the lead, opening the first Orita’s Japanese fusion restaurant in Melbourne’s inner suburbs of Toorak. Jun has subsequently opened up a second Orita’s on the back end of the Peninsula in honour of his father. As Balnarring Village only offers a Chinese restaurant, two bakeries and a fish n’ chip shop, locals have welcomed this new addition with open arms and a big appetite.
The service Jun and his team provide is nothing short of outstanding. His dedication to ensuring the happiness of his customers is refreshing to see. As he stands nearby glistening each wine glass, the customer eagerly browses at the long menu, a small cup of hot sake in hand.
If a little culture excites you, try the sashimi combination for the entree. The dish is presented like a stack of red dominos, finely chopped tuna and salmon laid in separate piles side by side. If raw fish frightens you, stick to simple classics like prawn or vegetarian dumplings. The sticky residue of the dumplings are perfectly balanced by the accompanying sweet sauce.
Jun’s main recommendations include the steak and snapper. The steak is quite large in proportion and cooked tenderly to your liking. Bursting with flavours of garlic, the steak is a wise choice for the person who loves to indulge in a little fine dining. The snapper is soft as silk, cooked a golden white and is fulsome. Shavings of green garnish cover the plate’s entirety, with colours of orange, yellow and green vegetables as the sides. The dish presentation blends qualities of fairytale with oriental as the dynamic colours play with your eyes and your mouth.
Venture down to the much-uncharted world of Balnarring and discover the beauties that hold this tiny town together. With both local and foreign support, Orita’s 2 restaurant can receive the loud applause it deserves.
3050 Frankston-Flinders Rd, Balnarring VIC 3926, +61 3 5931 3232