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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Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen – CBD – Russell St

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We’re at that time of year again.

Autumn leaves scatter by unpredictable Melbourne winds that grow colder by the day. As the unbearable cold embraces Melbourne with the sniffles, patchy rain and a slew of cough fits, is there a light at the end of tunnel? I’m not a fan of the colder seasons and while Autumn is generally tolerable, Winter in Melbourne has gotten bitterly colder during recent years.

But with the bad, you have the good. To counter the cold, you need heat and with the melting pot that is Melbourne – we got the heat! Hotpot, Pho, Udon, Laksa, you name it and Melbourne usually has it! As an expert IG lurker, Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen (IFR) caught my eye with their bright green Yuzu broth and their generous servings of chicken wings. It’s only right that  we end of the work week with a hot steaming bowl of Ramen and some chicken wings for good measure.

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Tsuta Sushi – CBD – Hardware Lane [Lunch Crawl]

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Have you ever wondered just before taking a bite a burger, ‘You know what this burger needs? Rice. Oh and also seaweed. Scratch that, can you please make this burger a bit more like sushi?’ Then you’re in luck, because Tsuta Sushi is an establishment that will cater to your twisted sushi-burger fetishes. In today’s social world of Instagram, people are always finding new ways to spin old classics into viral food sensations (Ramen burger anyone?).

We’re so used to brioche buns encasing the lovable beef and cheese duo, that this crazy creation just might work. Just. I mean – I like sushi and I like burgers. But sushi and burgers working together? This was either going to be horribly-vomit inducing or the best thing I’ve ever put in my mouth (and I’ve placed a lot of amazing things in my mouth).

Either way, I’m excited to find out. Come at me burger-sushi!

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Mr Ramen San – CBD – Bourke Street [Lunch Crawl]

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Having pinned Hakata Gensuke as my preferred bowl of Ramen, I’m always on the lookout for new entrants looking at making a splash or even more optimistically.. rock the boat on Melbourne’s Ramen scene. I’ve walked past and smelled Mr. Ramen san many times but timing gets the best of me because I’m usually food coma’ing from a previous pig out session or just not in the mood for a bowl of Ramen.

But alas, the time has come. Nice to meet you Mr. Ramen-san.

お勧めは何ですか? (What do you recommend?)

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Wagyu One – CBD – Bourke Street

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‘Wagyu’ translated is Japanese beef and has been popularized in recent years for it’s premium cuts as well as the fat marbled texture that I lose my soul every time I stare too long at a piece. After Japan, Australia is the world’s second largest breed association that spreads the love of Wagyu to all corners of the globe. Originating from Japan, the breed is subjected to massages and includes alcohol as part of their diet for creating that marbling fat that ripples through that delicious cow. Wagyu One join the likes of Shou Sumiyaki in strengthening the Japanese BBQ platform that is outnumbered by the more popular Korean BBQ.

Compared to KBBQ, Japanese BBQ flavours are relatively more tame and in my experience more dearer on your pockets. But this more often than not, is associated with higher quality cuts of meat and usually fresh, not frozen. Wagyu One in particular, focuses on providing a whole arsenal of premium cuts from the beloved bovine and I’m more than happy to welcome with open arms.

Warning: A lot of pictures ahead.

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jWasshoi – Prahran Market

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Wasshoi opened since September last year inside the infamous, bustling Prahran Market. By the looks of things, the locals are loving the new addition. All the seats are taken by lunch time and your nose is engulfed by the aroma onslaught of grilled pork belly, hamburgers and chicken. I can’t even finish that sentence without drooling. Already impressed, I was made aware by my lunchtime compatriot (Shoutout to King-san) there was more to this humble abode than it’s charcoal-wafting exterior. Curious, I did some digging maybe even some National Treasure-esque type research but no where near as handsome as Nicholas Cage.

The head chef of Wasshoi is a man by the name of Ikuei Arakane or Kin-san within inner circles. Kin-san is a man of pedigree having helmed, ‘The Glass House’ in Hobart (where it won the Tasmanian Best Seafood Restaurant of Year in 2015) and having worked in Taxi Dining Restaurant. But here’s the kicker. Kin-san was a regular guest on the Japanese show… Iron Chef and has even hosted the Japan vs. Australia version. That’s right, the Iron Chef.

Everyone, I think we have found the Senpai of all Senpais.

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Ebi Fine Foods – Footscray

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Ebi’s previous owner, John has retired and new management has taken over for the last year and a half. A little fact that we weren’t aware of until after we finished our meals. Ebi is now managed by the lovely new owner who worked with John previously and has retained most of the working staff. I have to apologise to this lovely lady because her name escapes my worrying short-term memory. Even under new management, Ebi Fine Foods maintains it’s original glow with flying colours. It’s like a movie sequel that doesn’t suck.

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