143 – 145 Bourke Street, Melbourne Vic 3000
Phone: (03) 9078 9909
Ambience: 6/10 (kinda run down and stuff)
Service: 5/10 (slow and not well attended, maybe it was a Friday night?)
My colleagues and I were looking for a place to have dinner after work on a Friday night. After much research done by V, we decided on Izakaya Hachibeh. FYI, IH is one of the more popular Izakayas in Melbourne CBD, Izakaya is usually a blend between restaurant and bar, where fresh sashimi, sushi and other hot dishes / tapas are served and enjoyed with a good glass of sake or beer.
As there were six of us, we decided to order several chef recommended dishes to share and some other ones to be consumed individually! First up, we ordered Gyoza, pan fried Japanese style dumplings. They were not too burnt and the skin was crispy!I have been wanting to try Okonomiyaki which is Japanese pan cake. As a Japanese food lover, I know it is weird that I have not tried it before. I read through several blog posts and IH seems to serve a good rendition of it. When the food finally arrived, my colleagues exclaimed that why is it so thin? I know they should be thicker but the sweet sauce drizzled nicely on top and mayo topped the dish up.
We also ordered Teba: deep fried chicken wings with Garlic sauce. Everyone was licking their fingers after having them! Flavoursome sauce with the chicken maintaining its tenderness!M got herself the good old Katsu don which was large in portion and the pork schnitzel was really thick and lightly fried.
Next, we had Grilled Japanese pike (Sanma). The fish was fresh and the chef managed to keep everything simple and light.Sashimi salad was a delight, with a superb dressing! Every mouth was an adventure to your taste buds.
Ebi Mayo was another enjoyable dish that we had that night. The prawns were lightly covered with wheat flour and the mayo tasted exceptionally great. It felt like eating tidbits and you could not wait to have more~!
The star of the night was the Deluxe Chef Selections (shown at the top of the entry), we were presented with a huge plate of several cooked and fresh sushi and tenderizing sashimi! The tamago was not too sweet and done the way I love. But I have one big COMPLAINT which was the amount of wasabi in every piece of sushi! It was too much, seriously. I like the variety that the chef put in, refreshing and pleasing to the eyes!
A had Sukiyaki: a very popular dish cooked in pot with special sauce (beef). Based on my previous experiences, this dish has always been served with a burning flame at the bottom and not on a plate. So you will be able to enjoy the part cooking and part indulging experience! A said it is delicious and the ingredients in the pot are already filling.The last dish of the night was V’s Gyu Don. It was supposed to be a simple dish but it took ages to be delivered to her. I have no idea why. Maybe they literally went to slaughter a cow?! It was sweeter than normal, having a few mouths would be fine but finishing everything in that enormous bowl will be a ‘torture’!
The service was rather slow and there was not enough staff to cater to the overcrowded upper level. We were left unattended with no menu for about 5 to 8 minutes. Every table was packed and we had to squeeze to get to and from our seats. I guess you can see its popularity from here? I am not sure if the airconditioner was switched on, but we were feeling so warm and stuffy that we had to get ‘undressed’! The food was not bad, the atmosphere was fantastic for a big gathering after work.