Shinoki – South Yarra

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Spring’s just around the corner and what better way to celebrate the end of Winter than with Sushi! Because we’re feeling fancy (just a little bit), we though South Yarra sushi would be nice. Not sushi related, but I did see a burger place that caught my eye (post from future moustache incoming).

A chef’s table destined for Omakase, welcomes us as we entered Shinoki. We came during lunch on a Sunday and it seems we were one of the first customers for the day. It appears Shinoki has only just recently called South Yarra home. I like well honed establishments but sometimes the newbie’s have a lot to offer too. With ‘Modern Japanese’ next to their name we’re ready to experience the modern delights Shinoki has to offer.

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Charred edamame w/ garlic – Complimentary
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Hassun (Assorted appetizers included w/ Sushi Kaiseki) – Braised tofu and vegetables servedΒ  cold
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Chawanmushi (Delicate egg pudding part of Sushi Kaiseki set)
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Sweet glazed pumpkin (Part of Sushi Kaiseki set)
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Sushi Kaiseki (Nigiri Sushi – 8pcs) – $50

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Vegetable tempura oju – $18
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Cha-soba (Green tea flavoured noodles) w/ Tempura – $30

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Ebi (Prawn) tempura oju – $24
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Wagyu beef steak oju – $28
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Una-ju (Grilled eel) oju – $20
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Barachirashi (Mixed fish sushi bowl) – $30

There’s a certain serenity and calmness that embraces you at Shinobi. A strong heater to help battle the cold outside certainly made me more calm (and hungry!). Our crew decided to order a fair share of the Oju menu (Think fancy Japanese bento box with no compartments) and share the Sushi Kaiseki which included Nigiri sushi and assorted appetisers.

The awesome:

  • The charred Edamame with sliced garlic was amazing! The flavour had a taste similar to morning glory stir-fried with fermented bean curd and garlic. Great start!
  • Unagi-oju was as good as I expected. Grilled perfectly with a sweet soy glaze that complimented the lovely Japanese rice underneath. I did not leave one grain of rice behind. Recommended.
  • Tempura-oju’s were also great with the ingredients fry in a light batter. Again, I smashed the bento’s because that sweet sauce complimented everything to me. Hunter did make a not that he didn’t like the overall sweetness of everything. I disagreed.

Things to note:

  • The order of food sent out was odd (didn’t bother me) but I feel it should be pointed out. We ordered a lot as you can see, but the order with which everything came out – half the table was watching the other half eating most of the time.
  • King-san ordered the Prawn Ebi bento but was brought a Vegetable tempura bento instead. We’re not the type to make a fuss so we ate it anyway. This error was promptly noticed and we were given the correct bento box.
  • A lot of back and forth for a missing miso soup (we ordered 4, only 3 arrived).
  • Wagyu tasted a lot more leaner than the good stuff I’ve tasted both in Melbourne and Japan.
  • The prices at Shinoki are above average and sometimes even doubling the price of a bento at a food court. This will be subjective to what is and isn’t worth it in your eyes.
  • Pictured above, the soba is served inside a broth. Jaz was caught offguard because there was no mention of soup anywhere on the menu. Just a note!

With all things considered, Shinoki was an overall disappointing experience. There were just too many things that left us wanting more. Of course, I’m not going to rule out new restaurants ironing out quirks and kinks.

I’m sure Shinoki will find an audience for their cuisine but I am definitely not part of that market.

2.5 moustaches out of 5
Shinoki Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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