Ebi Fine Food is a gem of the West, serving up Japanese delights and arguably Melbourne's best fish and chips. This is what I love about Melbourne - shining jewel restaurants in unassuming locations. The locals are well aware of Ebi and this restaurant boasts a legion of local regulars.
Ebi Fine Food is a little quirky. Is it purely a Japanese restaurant? Or mainly fish and chips? Methinks a fusion triumph where edges are blurred to bring creativity and optimum flavours. What is certain is that Ebi Fine Food carries a culinary pride. It goes the extra mile for its customers and maintains a passion for fine food. The chef welcomed me to a stool at the bar/open kitchen and we enjoyed a chat about Japan, Footscray and the cooking processes of Ebi. Behind the chef were a myriad of daily specials. And the aromas from the kitchen were compelling. The Sushi plates at Ebi Fine Food (above) are an example of attention to detail and use of quality ingredients.
Circa The Prince, the darling of the Melbourne restaurant scene, has launched a superb Yakitori Bar as a pop up from April 6 to May 6, with the influence and design of Paul Wilson, chef extraordinaire.
For mine it was the bao selection that proved the highlight. With seemingly hundreds of guests at the launch I proved myself adept at securing several Tea smoked duck and quince with bush plum sauce bao.
Sake is a Sydney sensation that has entered the Melbourne scene next to Hamer Hall. It plays all the right notes and is a great choice for dining pre-show (as we did). Having been delayed by traffic we only had 20 minutes to eat which limited our options.
The staff at Sake are adept and flexible and accomodating our crazy time frame was met with ease. I highly recommend Sake at any time but its the perfect place to visit before a show/event/performance. Also check it out on a sunny Melbourne day - superb by the river...
Sake offers a sharp and chic fit out with great use of different textures, colour and a leaning to Japanese styles. Either experience the Japanese atmosphere inside or enjoy the tables overlooking the Yarra and city landmarks (does it get any better?).
J Cafe is a superb Japanese cafe on Exhibition that thrills with its creative and tasty sushi burgers and salads. The combination of a sushi burger and a fresh classy salad is a sublime option for the hungry office worker. I'd heard about these sushi burgers but it took me too long to pay a visit. Melbourne has several excellent value Japanese cafe restaurants in the CBD which are well patronised by students.
J Cafe Restaurant is popular with students but also with a high proportion of surrounding professionals. I was superimpressed by the care, the quality of cuisine, the healthiness and the value of J Cafe. Oh and the service is great also - attentive, friendly and the meals prepared quickly.
Purple Peanuts Japanese Café is a sublime breath of fresh air in the top end of town on Collins Street. This is a cafe I've been to several times for interesting Japanese style food, quick service and cool ambience.
It’s different to many other Japanese establishments and is a twist (and shout) on the usual focus of sushi and sashimi. It hums with a youthful, colourful and eclectic creativity, depicted by a large The Beatles Japanese Tour poster.
Heirloom exudes class and elegance at every level. It is primarily an izakaya and sake destination of note.
Heirloom loomed as a great breakfast destination for moi. I've been there several times for breakfast. The breakfast scene here is different to the izakaya - and so soon I will visit again for lunch or dinner.
Sakura Kaiten Sushi is arguably Melbourne's best sushi train. For a start it has a chic ambience with modern fit out and dark tiles and light fittings.
The food is sublime. Pull up a chair and settle in to the sushi train. Join a line of professionals on their lunch break. Sakura Kaiten gets packed out - the sushi train gets as full as peak hour Melbourne trains (well, not quite).
Price is based on 3 types of coloured plate. As the dishes go around on the train I am mesmorised - what to have. I see a dish I like over the other side then have to wait for dish to come past me. I lose sight of my favoured dish in the process. And et distracted by new dishes I see. So hard to concentrate after a hard day in the office.
Akachochin is a top class modern authentic Japanese izakaya dining experience in impressive South Wharf. Even on a week night the restaurant is packed. Walk in to the modern chic room and enjoy seating in the main dining area at tables or settle in at the bar in proximity to the chefs.
A chic fit out includes high ceilings, timber paneling and soft lighting, original timber floors, eclectic naked hanging bulbs, an elevated bar area with marble bar, open kitchen and a Japanese minimalist theme.
Japanese sensation in a basement. Open for lunch and dinner Izakaya Den is a cool uber chic dining experience. The concept of a izakaya is like a Japanese tavern with small meals to enjoy with drinks.
So I journeyed down the stairs to the basement and came upon a non-descript door with a curtain across it… Aha! This was like an episode of Lord of the Rings – would I stumble upon this treasure of a restaurant? After a while I made out the word “DEN” on the door and knew I had arrived!
I then walked in to the most amazing chic cool place in Melbourne. Long and narrow, dimly lit with cool décor and a long bar. Admire the benches and tables. Cool to have the menu projected on the wall. Enjoy the chefs doing their masterful work in the open kitchen.
I was shown by a friendly waitress to a bench at the bar. Then I was told about the lunch sets available – do I go for the $18 set or the $28 set? I decided to order the $18 lunch set with the ocean trout main course. I was also tempted to choose the salmon sashimi or the wagyu beef.
Don Don delivers in so many ways being a cheap eat mainstay in the CBD (now relocated around the corner on Little Lonsdale). A humble Japanese restaurant tucked away off the main strip it can be easily missed. Don Don is a phenomenon. Great Japanese food, served quickly, and great value. A lunchtime favourite among city workers and students. It’s no frills, but not without flair.
Just look for a line out the door. And if you see a long line don’t worry. The service here is the quickest in town. As soon as you place your order and reach for your wallet the food is on the counter in front of you. These guys are quick on the draw.
I’ve experienced most of the items on the menu and they’re all good. The Teriyaki Chicken is outstanding as is the Curry Chicken whichhas unique flavours. And the lunch sets are also great value. Where else can you get a large quality lunch for around $7-8?
Kokoro Ramen offers excellent Japanese ramen choices and is a great restaurant for a value quality meal. This place specialises in ramen but offers some excellent other menu options. What is exciting is the number of different ramen combinations including interesting selections such as butter and corn and soft crab.
Kokoro Ramen is an inviting restaurant with timber floor, white chairs, a modern timber panel wall, and cool naked bulb lighting. It has become popular for its authentic dishes and trendy ambience.
Like a few others in the precinct Kokoro Ramen makes their own noodles. It makes so much difference even in any soup based dish, to experience fresh home made noodles. They have four types of broth including the staple boiling pork bones. Apparently good for your health.
Ume Hana is a restaurant that offers excellent value Japanese and Korean cuisine and is a solid CBD performer. It's got a homestyle kind of feel with homestyle kind of cooking and decor.
I've been here almost a dozen times and there is consistency of dishes to satisfy. The fit out is that of a serviceable cafe with two TV's on the wall, usually playing daytime drama when you visit at lunchtime, and pleasant decor.
The Manager likes to engage the customers and is keen to please. He always asks me if I enjoy the meal - obviously proud of his restaurant.
Classy Japanese in uber setting! Yu-u is a one hat (The Age Good Food Guide) restaurant in iconic Flinders Lane and thoroughly deserves its acclaim! This place is just so good at every level, yet hidden away in a basement off Flinders Lane. There is a big difference between average Japanese food and ‘all class’. Yu-u is full of imagination and creativity and skilful cooking and exudes class.
First of all you have to find it! There is not much signage apart from a small sign inside the non descript entrance leading down the stairs off the laneway. Once inside you are greeted with a warm atmosphere with mood lighting – from candles, studio down lights and lamps.
I love the use of timber as you step down to the next level. A waitress shows you to your seat. Most people sit around the huge bar area (another impressive use of wood). But seating is not on stools as is usually the case – but on impressive large chairs (so you can even recline if you consume too much).The large chair made me feel like I’d been upgraded to first class!
Great lunchtime haven in the CBD! Compared to noodle houses in Tokyo! Having been to Tokyo I can say this place is simple but rates! Ramen is the word! Chinese noodles and broth! If you’re looking for value then O-Bento is a wonderful option!
Amazing amazing! If you shut your eyes and tasted the food you’d think you were in fine dining bliss. Open your eyes and you’re in a pleasant but humble restaurant on Russell St. I still can’t believe the value and quality of Teppansan. Loving the whole experience of Japanese food for lunch – you never feel bloated _ I wandered into Teppansan. The service was great with friendly waitress showing me past the bamboo lattice to a table along the narrow wall. I noticed the simple décor – at the back of the restaurant is a larger eating area with interesting mural on the wall.
Fine dining at it's best! Went here for a special dinner wanting to impress interstate visitors. Just see the bank manager before you go to Nobu... Peruvian and Japanese fusion really works! We know there are other Nobu establishments elsewhere in the world. Was taken by the one in Dubai – but happy there’s one here in Melbourne! Robert De Niro connections impressive... Looked to see if he was around or at least Al Pacino... Although many celebs are to be seen here...
So you walk down the stairs into super chicdom… And you are met by a superchic waiter… Takes a few minutes to work out the menu... don't let fusion become "confusion"! Amid the general noise in the place you need to listen very carefully to your waiter! Love the ambience and whole backlit thing going on...Mood lighting impressed our interstate guests – super chic.