We were recently invited to dine at Unabara Lobster & Oyster Bar in Melbourne Central. We were interested to check it out given it’s not everyday that you get to have lobster ramen! So on a very cold and typical Melbourne wintry night, we headed to Melbourne Central in search of the restaurant. We found it pretty quickly and although there were tables outside within the centre, we were seated inside their restaurant which also happened to be Gyoza Gyoza. We were also provided with menus, both for Unabara and Gyoza Gyoza to order from. The restaurant itself is very casual. In fact when we sat down the tables were not that clean and had lots of water on it.
We started off with ordering a couple of cocktails. I ordered the Umeshu Margarita which had gold tequila, Japanese plum wine, Yuzu sake, cointreau and fresh lemon juice. Davin ordered the Tropical Yuzu Mojito which had Yuzushu, green tea, gin, pineapple juice, passion fruit mint, lime and tonic water. Both cocktails were presented nicely and were really refreshing.
For food we of course had to order the Lobster and Seafood Sapporo Miso Ramen. There was an option to order half lobster (200 – 250g) or half large lobster (500 – 600g). We asked for the half large lobster however they advised us that they were already sold out for the night so we opted for the smaller half lobster. The dish also included a grilled scallop, tiger prawn, chashu (Japanese style braised pork belly), and a 63 degree poached egg. The broth was really flavoured and you could taste the lobster and seafood flavours in it. The ramen noodles were nice and chewy. The lobster meat itself tasted a bit overcooked and rubbery. The tiger prawn and the chashu was also overcooked, however the scallop was nice. The 63 degree egg was poached perfectly.
We also ordered the grilled half lobster with Angus beef tenderloin which also came with a 63 degree poached egg, toasted buttered New England split-top bun, beer battered fries with truffle mayo, wafu salad and lobster bisque. The grilled lobster in this dish was also overcooked and rubbery, and the beef tenderloin was dry and stringy. The lobster bisque was plain and lacked the strong lobster flavours and seasoning you would expect. I guess we have been spoilt with our fair share of lobster bisques in the past, particularly when we went to Europe, so we felt like this really missed the mark. I think our favourite part of the dish was the fries and the poached egg.
For dessert we ordered a matcha parfait with cookies and chocolate. It came with a massive and fluffy cloud of fairy floss attached to it! I haven’t had fairy floss in so long and it tasted amazing, so light and airy and just the right amount of sweetness. The parfait itself had good strong matcha and chocolate flavours to it.
Overall the lobster ramen broth was probably the highlight as that was full of flavour, along with the ramen noodles. The cocktails and dessert were also very enjoyable. Seafood is such a delicate thing to cook so I think they just need to make sure it is cooked perfectly, especially if it’s going to be part of their signature dishes.
Unabara Lobster & Oyster Bar (Melbourne Central)
Approx $35 AUD per person
Address: Melbourne Central, L01/157 La Trobre St
Phone: +61 3 9922 1100