32 Bourke Street, Melbourne Vic 3000
Phone: (03) 9650 7020
Food: 8/10 (large variety and fresh)
Want to be your own chef and cook up a storm in a classy authentic Japanese yakiniku restaurant? Takumi is the place to go, it is the only Wagyu beef specialist in town and all the equipment, ingredients, products and even their staff are Japanese! The moment you stepped into the restaurant, it felt like you are being transported to Japan. What’s the occasion you might ask? It was J’s birthday! He was craving for some good quality beef in yakiniku style. After much research done by yours truly, we decided on Takumi, a much hidden away gem on Bourke street.
As we arrived earlier than our reservation time, the seat that I wanted which was near the window is still occupied. I told the waitress that we do not mind waiting as we wanted some space for the birthday celebration. So, we were shown to the bar area. J got a Yebisu while T and I got Takumi’s Japanese cocktail, which was too pretty to be drank. It was a great mix I must say.
The couple who was occupying the seats I wanted finally left after 30 minutes. We were shown to the table and given the menu by the courteous and jovial waitress. T did not want to do the set meal so she got some of the A la carte items. First, she had the mix salad which was drizzled with Takumi’s homemade sauce.
T also got Sakechazuke: grilled salmon on rice in soup. The fish was fresh and tasty.
J and I went with Set B course at $70 per pax. It had a good mix of seafood, vegetables and the various cuts of beef. We were first served with Edamame: boiled soy beans and Kimuchi: Korean style pickled vegetables as appetizers. The beans were fresh and you just could not stop putting more into your mouth. Of course, with Japanese cuisine, you have to complement it with sake. J decided to go with edoichi Junmai, based on the menu, it uses only Yamadanishiki “king of rice”. A soft fragrant well blended semi dry sake indeed!
Salmon carpaccio was another awesome fusion dish. The salmon was sliced thinly with delicious dressing.Before I forget, we were also given three different dipping sauces (1 less than the one we had at Shou Sumiyaki). From right to left: I could tell that one was sesame with a bit of garlic; teriyaki sauce and a normal light soya sauce. I love the teriyaki sauce, it gave a fantastic touch to our grill affair.The seafood came next, the abalone was fresh and chewy; the scallop was tasty too. We were given a piece of beef fat to go over the top of the grill so as to prevent the food cooked on top to be burnt easily.Jo tan: premium ox tongue was next on the grill. I think it was my first experience with tongues. They actually tasted fantastic, not disgusting at all!We also had Jo Karubi: Rib eye cap that was supplied by David Blackmore and Jo rosu: premium porterhouse. One serve was drizzled with salt and pepper while the other was topped with BBQ sauce. I preferred the one with BBQ sauce as it brought out the flavour more than the salt. The beef was tender and succulent. J and I agreed that we cannot get enough of them. The portion might not be huge but by this point we were both rather full.As for dessert, we were given three options for the icecream, namely, black sesame, green tea or red bean. J went with green tea which came with a black sesame pudding while I had red bean which came with a green tea pudding. They looked so adorable in their little bowls and the icecream was smooth and yum; pudding was special!
All in all, it was an awesome dining experience. With some hands on experience for the grilling of top quality wagyu beef and efficient service, we ate to our hearts’ content. J was satisfied with his selection, we will definitely return for more, maybe for lunch?