Sushi

Hinoki Japanese Pantry

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I finally tried the sushi bar at Hinoki Japanese Pantry the other day after buying groceries from here in the past.

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Hotate (scallop) and Salmon Aburi

★★★☆☆

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Nosé Maki and Hoso Maki

★★★★☆

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Small Sashimi

★★★★☆

Overall:

Our order took a little while to prepare but when it was finally ready, everything tasted fresh and was of fantastic quality. The grocery store section at Hinoki Japanese Pantry is impressive with a wide range of products ranging from Japanese curries and ramen to sake and green tea Kit Kats. This simple orderly store is a good place to head to for your Japanese grocery needs, as well as for delicious sushi and sashimi. Note that limited seating is available so getting takeaway may be necessary during busy periods.

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Hinoki Japanese Pantry

279 Smith St, Fitzroy, VIC

(03) 9417 4531

http://hinoki.com.au/

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Maru Shih

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Sashimi

We were expecting more of a variety but at least this was fresh.

★★★☆☆

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Salmon and Avocado Inside Out Hand Roll

★★★☆☆

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Yaki Udon

(chicken and vegetables cooked in Japanese sauce with mayo)

★★★☆☆

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Okonomiyaki

(Japanese savoury pancake with seafood and vegetables)

Dry with minimal seafood.

★★☆☆☆

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Beef Udon

(sliced beef, onion, spring onion and thick udon in soup)

The soup was a little bit too sweet for my liking.

★★☆☆☆

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Katsu Curry Udon

(fried crumbed chicken, spring onion and thick udon in curry soup)

A hearty noodle dish.

★★★☆☆

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Green Tea Latte

This was unfortunately too sweet and needed a stronger matcha flavour.

★★☆☆☆

Overall:

Great value for money (especially for a place in South Yarra), friendly attentive service, and tasty Japanese fare. Maru Shih is a place worth visiting if you are in the area.

Maru Shih

49 Toorak Rd, South Yarra, VIC

(03) 9077 9108

http://www.marushih.com/

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Satoru’s Japanese Restaurant

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Sushi Set

(salmon, tuna, prawn, calamari, scallop nigiri and sushi roll)

★★★☆☆

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Bento Plate

(prawn and salmon dumplings, chicken spring roll, calamari tempura, teriyaki chicken and sushi roll)

★★★☆☆

Overall:

We visited for lunch on a Saturday and had a lovely cheerful man (I’m assuming he’s the owner) both prepare and serve our food. The seafood was fresh and the bento plate unique (this was the first time I’d ever heard of prawn and salmon dumplings). I can see why this place is the most popular Japanese restaurant in the area.

Satoru’s Japanese Restaurant

Shop 1, 108 Old Pacific Hwy, Oxenford, QLD

5665 9295

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Sea Salt

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Grilled Fish Burger (grilled fish of the day, salad mix, tomato, tartare sauce) served with chips

= ★★

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Crumbed Chicken Burger (crumbed chicken, cheese, salad mix, tomato, Japanese mayo) served with chips

= ★★

Overall:

The burgers and chips were merely okay, and I must admit that I got food envy seeing people on other tables with their sashimi and sushi rolls. Service was fast and the atmosphere was casual and typical of a fish and chip shop.

Sea Salt

364 Lygon St, Carlton

9347 4777

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Sushi Hotaru (revisted)

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Salmon cream cheese roll

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Seared salmon and scallops

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Lobster salad gunkan

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 Seared scallop nigiri

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Spicy seared salmon nigiri

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 Prawn box sushi

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Chicken karaage

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Spicy tuna nigiri

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Salmon avocado roll

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Takoyaki

Overall:

Love this place. In fact not much has changed since my first visit over a year ago. The service is still super quick (I ordered pretty much everything from the electronic touch screens) and the food is still fresh and delicious. The menu is updated 3 to 4 times a year and everything is freshly hand made right in front of your eyes. This time around I especially enjoyed the spicy seared salmon nigiri, chicken karaage and the seared salmon and scallops (I could really go for more of this right now!) This is definitely the place to go to if you are after quick, tasty, reasonable priced sushi train food. Note that this place can get quite busy and that they will not seat you until your entire party has arrived.

Check out the first part of this clip to get more of an idea of what to expect at Sushi Hotaru.

Sushi Hotaru

Shop 118, 200 Bourke St (1st floor of MidCity Arcade), Melbourne

(03) 9663 7538

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*Disclaimer: I dined as a guest of SD Marketing Global. 

Shoya

25 Market Lane, Melbourne 9650 0848

 

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Pickled fish and vegetables

Intensely sour

= Not bad

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Savoury Egg Custard

Marvellously silky steamed egg custard with chicken, prawn, mushroom and edamame

= Excellent

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Tempura

The tempura batter was delicately light, crunchy and subtly seasoned. My only gripe with this dish was the enormous piece of broccoli that was served. Don’t get me wrong, I love broccoli. It’s just a little difficult to eat when it’s the size of my hand.

= Good

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Signature Deep Fried Dish

The left portion comprised of a tantalisingly tender scallop that was wrapped with understated crab meat and deep fried, while the right portion comprised of deep fried egg and mushroom.

= Good

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Sashimi

Extremely fresh and delicious with each piece having that amazing melt in your mouth texture.

= Excellent

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Sushi

 Fresh and tasty but the wasabi was a bit too heavy for my liking.

= Good

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Wagyu Steak and Miso Soup

Not sure if this is the norm, but this steak happened to be cooked medium-well and some of the pieces were extremely tough and sinewy. The sauce was lovely and aromatic, however the quiche that was served alongside was quite cheesy and did not complement the steak whatsoever. A strange combination.

= Not bad

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Mixed Steamed Rice

Lacklustre fried rice that comprised of chicken, vegetables and mushroom.

= Not bad

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Green tea ice cream

Weak green tea flavour, dense and had ice chunks in it.

= Not bad

 

Overall:

This place offers tasty yet affordable lunch sets that start from only $24.80. The cheap lunch sets must be very popular as by 1pm we were told that the two cheapest sets had already been sold out. But that didn’t faze me as I wanted to get a slightly more expensive Shoya Special Lunch Set anyway. I ended up getting the Matsu Set and substituted the crab dish with tempura. Most of the dishes came out at a nice even pace so that as soon as we had finished one dish, the next one would promptly arrive. Service was good and the atmosphere was chic and sophisticated. We witnessed one of the chefs preparing Shoya’s famous sashimi ice domes. They looked spectacular but I think you can only get them as part of the $180 dinner degustation menu. I think I’ll just stick to coming here for lunch.

 

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