160 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne Vic 3000
Phone: (03) 9654 3933
It was a warm and sunny Sunday afternoon, J and I decided to go for a late lunch before going on a shopping spree for birthday presents! 😛 The night before I actually did some research as to what we should have, we decided on Yamato, a Japanese restaurant that is located in one of the hidden lane ways. To our dismay, after braving the scorching sun, the restaurant was CLOSED! We then cruised down Little Bourke Street in search of alternative. The Wagyu beef Lunch Specials showcased at the front of Shou Sumiyaki caught my attention! I remembered that one of my colleagues had a fine dining experience there and she strongly recommended it. Personally, I do not really like BBQ as you usually stink quite badly after the meal. But I was thinking, maybe I should give this authentic Japanese BBQ a try and think of the smell after. Lol. Moreover, we were starving as it was already 2-ish in the afternoon!
When we walked into the restaurant, it was packed with patrons and there was no smell nor sight of smoke! Apparently Shou Sumiyaki uses Japan’s latest technology “smokeless charcoal grill”, in order for diners to enjoy Japanese BBQ in a smoke free environment. First, we were met with friendly staff who showed us to the bar while we waited for our tables to be set. There were many different Sakae and alcohol on display.
Before we knew it, our table was ready. We were directed to a cubicle looking area right next to the bar. As we were dining there for the first time, the waiter came over and introduced us to the different sections of the menu and the various types of meat and seafood available. We were literally spoilt for choices and I was keen to try several things on their menu! After placing our respective orders, we were “showered” with the necessary gears needed for the BBQ. I had also a jar of green tea which was brewed nicely to almost perfection. As we ordered the set meals, our miso soups were delivered to us first. It did not taste as salty as those you get from normal eateries and they have more seaweeds and tofu which was fabulous.
One of the waitresses then came to us with a set of their homemade sauces: Yakiniku Barbeque Sauce, Mustard and Miso Sauce, Sea Salt and Lemon, Spicy Garlic and Lemon. I love the spicy garlic lemon which went well with the Waygyu beef. Surprisingly, the mustard and miso sauce was great too! The Yakiniku sauce was kind of standard?
Next up, it was the Wafu salad with Kaisen Haruaki (Seafood Spring Rolls). Look at the vibrant colours and the spring rolls were delicious. The light sauce drizzled on made them an eating pleasure. I think they are quite similar to a Chinese dish?
I love Japanese gyoza and I could not help but indulge myself in the Wagyu beef gyoza. They were tender and smooth. How I wish I can have one right this moment!
Finally, the premium Grade 7+ Black Wagyu Marble were presented before us. 😀 J ordered Wagyu Rump, thicker and juicier (shown in the first picture) and I was having the Wagyu Scotch Spencer Roll, which were thinner and more tender (shown in the second picture).
The owner, who is from Hong Kong (telling from her accent), was nice and offered to give us a tip or two on cooking the beef properly. As the scotch fillet was thinner, she advised that I just need to cook them for about 10 seconds on each side while the rump will take 20 seconds. After which, dip the pieces of meat into the various sauces to our liking!
I like the pretty lines on the meat! Ain’t they appetizing?
As the kitchen was closing for their afternoon break, one of the waitresses came to us and asked if we want anything else. We said no as we were satisfied with all the yummy beef that we had eaten. However, there is always room for dessert (the menu is not fancy but worth a try). I made a go for their Taro icecream as it is rare to have this flavour in Australia! This is the second restaurant that I come across that have them to date. According to the waitress, they were made in house! The presentation was appealing and the ice cream was not too sweet nor did it taste artificially flavoured. The red beans and strawberries at the side complimented the ice cream wonderfully. I like the crispy biscuit!
Shou Sumiyaki, you did not stink me up and you are truly value for money. The quality of the beef was top notch and beautiful presentation just made me want to revisit it even more! However, the service could be worked on as J got his napkin “drenched” by the waitress who was refilling his cup. Apologies were made but there was no replacement. T_T All in all, I will definitely go back for the beef and Taro icecream any time!