I'm a Freelance Writer - MPG Communications and Author - Maria P Frino (pen name).
Published June 7th 2015
What Do Japan and Italy Have in Common?
Rakuen means 'pleasure garden' in the Japanese language. Not that this has anything to do with Norton Street and the usual array of Italian restaurants but I thought I'd throw some trivia into this review. There are other restaurants on the Norton Street strip worth trying.
Three friends and myself dined at Rakuen, 131 Norton Street, and we were pleasantly surprised at how reasonably priced it was for Japanese cuisine. Japanese food can be expensive, and sometimes rightly so, especially with all the preparation, seafood and presentation involved.
It was with this expectation we tried Rakuen this particular evening as a celebration for our friend's birthday. We wanted somewhere special to treat ourselves.
Starting with a 21piece Sashimi plate elegantly placed in front of us by our cheery waiter, we also shared the Beef Yakiniku, Teriyaki Salmon and Chicken Katsu. Apart from the beef being a little overcooked for my liking we all agreed the food was fresh, well presented and ample portions. Some Japanese restaurants can leave your stomach and your pockets very empty.
The beef was a little overcooked but it was still tasty.
This wasn't the case with Rakuen, it is reasonably priced, is BYO and has a fresh ambience with minimalistic décor. Being a winter's night, the heaters indoor as well as outdoor were a nice touch. The service was quick, given with a smile and, as the name suggests, it was a pleasure to dine at this quaint little gem in Norton Street.