Wednesday, 6 October 2010

shoya, melbourne: a refined affair

Earlier in the week I spent a day with my cousin Daniel, who was visiting from Sydney. I suggested going to one-hat Japanese restaurant Shoya in Market Lane, Melbourne CBD, of which I've heard many positive things, and he was happy to go along with the idea.

We were seated on the first floor with the traditional horigotatsu style tables, which I always find to be an enjoyable experience. But let's get to the main reason we're there - the food: We were both hungry, so it didn't take long to decide. I pick the Shoya set ($28) and Daniel settles on the Ume set ($32).

We start with the savoury egg custard (chawanmushi), which wins us over with its incredibly soft texture. The sashimi arrives next, perched thoughtfully on a creative frozen platform to keep them cool. Daniel and I are both big fans of sashimi and the ones here have a lovely clean taste, leaving us wanting more.

sashimi and chawanmushi

We both get a small green salad with sesame dressing (spinach goma-ae), and I also receive my chilled bean curd (hiya-yakko), topped with bonito shavings and sitting in a soy broth. It's good, simple stuff.

hiya-yakko and spinach goma-ae
The tempura is light and crispy.

There is a marvellous crunch as I bite into my grilled salmon (salmon shio-yaki) with its perfectly cooked skin, and Daniel’s grilled eel (unagi kabayaki), tenderly cooked and smothered in a sweet sauce, is also superb.

salmon shio-yaki
unagi kabayaki
My mini udon: the noodles are supple; the dashi broth mild and elegant.

mini udon
Daniel’s wagyu beef took a little longer to get to the table, but finally turns up with miso soup and a very pleasant mixed steamed rice. I did think the wagyu was a bit chewier than I would’ve liked, but it's still quite nice and as part of a thirty-two dollar set you’ll hear no objections.

wagyu steak
mixed steamed rice
Last but not least, dessert! It was the standard fare of green tea ice cream, but again this is done very well. You can really taste the matcha in it.

green tea ice cream
I enjoyed lunch at Shoya immensely – the service was attentive, the food delicate and pleasing - almost every time a dish came out, Daniel would take a bite and declare, “this is really good!” and I would agree. We walked out of the place full, content and ready for our next adventure.

Shoya Nouvelle Wafu Cuisine on Urbanspoon


  1. I like sashimi but they must be fresh, super fresh in order for me to give it thumbs up!

  2. We have to go there when I am in Melbourne!


Related Posts with Thumbnails