200 Lonsdale St
Melbourne, VIC 3000
03 9654 6242
I have grown used to the appetites of my Singaporean visitors. We spent Sunday in the CBD with a food dominant itinerary. They really should be Melbournites, we’d be visiting every eatery and would assuredly achieve my blog’s goal of getting fat together. A social win! On that hot Sunday, we had a humongous yum cha at Shark Fin Inn, checked out Melbourne Design Market, chilled upstairs at Hell’s Kitchen, had very very rich iced chocolates and cake at Koko Black and relaxed with traditional chinese massage in QV. I was so stuffed after Koko Black that I had to convince Danni to hold off a little while before we had dinner. She actually wanted a little “appetiser” at 6pm which involved a shared bowl of noodles before dinner. That didn’t happen, thank goodness. We shopped instead and I watched the girls buy tons of chocolates to bring home. *faint*
They finally conceded that dinner should be less heavy. We chose Japanese and went for Meshiya, that cute japanese joint at the edge of QV. This place isn’t upmarket and I remember it serves up cheap and reasonably good food. Half of its walls is glass and you can dine and watch office workers and international students walking by. Despite the cheap furniture, there is a cosiness to this place, with its cute lanterns and colourful walls and curtains. Makes me want to come back.
The girls again went overboard with ordering and we had three big entreés. Danni’s motto is if you don’t order it, you’ll never know how it tastes like. And she admitted that her dining out experiences tend to end up with substantial leftovers simply because of sheer over-ordering. Actually, I don’t mind, cos i get to take lots of food pics!
I quite liked the Agedashi Tofu, one of my favourite Japanese starters. The deep fried tofu was semi-firm in texture and the beancurd itself was quite tasty. My favourite part of this dish has to be the warm tentsuyu broth that the tofu sits in. It just goes so well with the beancurd.
The Gyu-tan Shioyaki (pan fried ox-tongue with salt) $9.80 was pretty good actually. I think I may be developing a taste for tongue. The flesh was thinly sliced, delightfully marinated, and fried to a springy texture.
Our last entreé, Gyu Niku Tataki (grilled sliced raw eye fillet steak with ponzu sauce) $14.80, was not as good. The raw beef tasted like thick slices of raw supermarket steak. It was tough and hard to chew, and the ponzu sauce that went with it was watered down and too citrusy. A lot of shredded carrot came with the dish. I sometimes wonder why Japanese restaurants don’t use shredded daikon more. Daikon is a lighter and lovelier garnishing that soaks up sauces better than carrot. Maybe it’s a cost or seasonality issue.
Sylwyn had the Chef’s Special Bento $20.80. I think she enjoyed it. I mean, look at the amount of dishes! Miso soup, chawanmushi, tempura, chicken yakitori, yakiniku beef and assorted sashimi! It’s just amazing value. Compare that with the Salmon Kushi Don at Ichi Ni, where for $20 all you get is a few sticks of salmon pieces on a small bowl of rice.
I had the Sashimi and Unagi Teishoku $22.80 and couldn’t complain. Reasonably fresh sashimi and a good amount of broiled eel. The chawanmushi was silky and delicate, with a gingko nut at the bottom of the cup. However, the miso soup wasn’t served hot and it tasted quite ordinary. Again, good value for so much seafood and accompaniments.
I have completely forgotten what Danni ordered, but it’s essentially a variety of fried udon noodle with beef. I won’t comment on it because I wouldn’t have ordered nor have liked such a dish. I did have a strand or two of udon and only remembered it was fried in an overly sweet sauce that I’d get sick of quite quickly. Danni (aka the bottomless stomach) could’t finish this.
Vicky had the Nabeyaki Udon and Maki Sushi Teishoku (combination noodle hot pot with hand roll sushi) $19.80. She didn’t comment much about it but she couldn’t finish it. I liked the raw egg on top of the noodle soup, it just makes the dish so much more appetising. I had a taste of the broth and again found it too sweet.
Overall, I think this place serves unexceptional Japanese cuisine but at very reasonable prices. It’s easy to come back again. This place is good when you feel like having a quick, reliable, satisfying no-frills Bento-style meal in the CBD.