There’s been quite a lot of hype over Ippudo recently given they are fairly new to the Melbourne scene. Specialising in ramen, their first shop opened in 1985 in Japan and it has grown and expanded internationally since then. We finally got around to checking it out one cold night and were not surprised when we arrived and saw a decent line of a queue snaking around outside of its entrance. We were however surprised at how efficient they were and how quickly the line moved! We were seated in no time!

The restaurant itself was bright, quite large and spacious which was probably why the line was able to move so quickly. We were seated and provided with some large menus to peruse. We decided to order some starters which included the lightly pickled cucumber with special chilli sauce, crunchy garlic and Sichuan pepper. They weren’t kidding when they said lightly pickled because I couldn’t really taste the pickle in it at all. I guess it made it a more refreshing dish, I did like the crunchy garlic bits though.

We also ordered some fresh sashimi, their signature pork bun, seared salmon sushi roll and the wagyu tataki gohan which had marinated wagyu slices on rice with Japanese mayonnaise and fried garlic chips. This was a great dish! It was so flavoured and the wagyu slices were perfection. Their other starter dishes were also really nice and we couldn’t really fault them.

But of course we were here to try their famous ramen! We had already scouted it out when we walked in and knew it was quite a generous bowl. Given our eyes are larger than our stomachs and we had ordered so many starters, we decided to settle on sharing just one bowl. We ordered their signature Akamaru Shinaji ramen which had their original tonkotsu broth enhanced with special blended miso paste and fragrant garlic oil, served with thin noodles, pork belly, black fungus and spring onions.

The verdict? It was actually pretty good! Of course we couldn’t compare it to all the great ramens we’ve had in Japan. However the broth was nicely flavoured, the noodles were firm and the ingredients were fresh. Would we go back again? Probably if we felt like a decent bowl of ramen with the extra dishes they offer. Their varied starter dishes were a highlight for us. Their service was also fantastic. They were very attentive, quick and efficient. Because there are so many ramen restaurants in Melbourne now, it is becoming more challenging for the good ones to stand out. However with Ippudo it also has its history and huge branding behind it which has helped build its reputation here fairly quickly. We certainly had a pretty good experience, both with the food and the service!

Approx $30 AUD per person
Address: QV Shopping Centre, 18/300 Lonsdale St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Phone: +61 3 9654 9057
Website: ippudo.com.au

Ippudo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Ton & Co

Ton & Co has only been open for a few months but they have already made a huge impact for us since we’ve discovered it so we had to tell you all about it!

Located on High St in Windsor, Ton & Co is a Japanese restaurant with a focus on pork dishes. Yes, you did hear right. PORK dishes. The uniqueness of this concept piqued our interest straight away so we had to check it out. The menu consists of a range of different pork dishes which include pork striploin, pork tenderloin, pork ribeye steak, pork ribs, pork belly, you name it! There are no beef dishes here and there was only one fish dish. So if you are going to visit this restaurant then make sure you are here because you want to eat pork and don’t expect anything else! The restaurant itself has a very spacious and modern feel with wooden tables and industrial chairs. I also noted it was kept very clean and pristine. We were welcomed warmly into the restaurant on this particular evening and efficiently provided with the menus.

We started off with some hot sake and small dishes. We ordered the ox tongue skewers and chicken thigh skewers. Both of the meat skewer dishes were flavoured to perfection and the meat was so soft. However I have to highlight how particularly ultra soft and delicious the ox tongue skewers were. They were the best ox tongue skewers we’ve ever had! Big call, I know but I have to state the facts. Thinking about that dish while I write this makes me want a serving of it right now.

For the mains, I decided to order their Signature Pork Ribeye Steak which was 400g of bone-on cured and aged pork ribeye, onion relish, sake beurre blanc and mustard. Verdict? It was the best pork steak I have ever had! I know I just made that call with the ox tongue and so it sounds crazy but I swear, it was SO good! I really don’t know how I’m ever going to have pork like that anywhere else after I’ve experienced it here. It was flavoured so well and cooked through, yet still so tender and juicy. Every bite of it with some of the onion relish and mustard was heaven. I didn’t want it to end. Sigh.

Davin ordered the only fish dish which was the poached salmon. This came with a honey miso glaze, seaweed crust, shiitake mushroom broth and sake steamed leeks. He also got a bowl of rice to go with it. The salmon was poached oh so perfectly! It’s so important to not overcook salmon and they have certainly mastered it. The seaweed crust gave each bite a lovely crunch, and the shiitake mushroom broth that went with it was so flavoured and lovely, you could just drink it on its own. It was one killer dish!

We also ordered a the Japanese potato salad to share which was really good.

So at this stage, we were really happy and thinking to ourselves that they have pretty much hit the mark on every dish they have served us. There’s only one more dish to go and that was dessert. Can they also maintain the quality? Um, yes they can! How could we ever doubt them?

We settled on sharing the Matcha cheese cake with Hojicha ice cream. It was presented beautifully and had good strong matcha flavours, yet you can still taste that it was a cheesecake. Combined with the ice cream, it was a great dish and we scoffed it up pretty quickly.

We finished up our meal very content and amazed at how good the food was at Ton & Co. Not only was the food fantastic but the service was also top notch. Staff were very friendly and efficient, and were more than happy to have a chat and see what we thought of the food. Will we be back? Hell yes! This restaurant is doing something different by shining the spotlight on pork which seems to be such an underrated dish here. We highly recommend if you are interested in trying out their spectacular dishes, particularly if you are keen for pork. It was an amazing experience.

Ton & Co
Approx $50 AUD per person
Address: 118 High St, Windsor VIC 3181
Phone: +61 3 9023 3396
Website: tonandco.com.au

Ton & Co Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Unabara Lobster & Oyster Bar

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
Website: unabara.com.au

Unabara Lobster & Oyster Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


WHAT! Another place in Prahran!?! Yes… we’ve been coming here a lot, and loving Prahran Market. We were at Pino’s Fine Produce for some fruits and veggies. A quick plug for these guys, $15 for a box of fruit and veggies on Sunday. There’s a nice variety to choose from, just make sure you don’t fill your box with watermelon!

Wasshoi is situated right next to Pino’s Fine Produce. We were hungry after queuing for our fruits and veggies, and what better way to warm our stomachs than with hot yuzu and some twice cooked goodness! Helen ordered the twice cooked pork belly roll and I got the twice cooked chicken fillet don. Let me tell you, for the price – this is probably some of the best food you will get on this side of town.

The pork belly in the roll had a great fat to meat ratio, and was charred nicely. I know in the photo it looks burnt, but that certainly wasn’t the case. I could really taste the charcoal flavour embedded into the pork. The bread roll itself was ultra crispy, as bits of bread went flying everywhere from each bite. The Kochi yuzu pepper mayonnaise tasted as good as it sounds. This mayonnaise was not heavy and was kinda refreshing. This was a wonderfully constructed roll, just a shame that it was snatched away from me straight after my second bite!

The twice cooked chicken fillet don was just as enjoyable as the roll. I’m a bit conflicted as to which one I enjoy more. Helen said that I can like both equally, but I aren’t no fence sitter! I will definitely make my decision after I come here again. The chicken was extremely tender, and if anything I can taste the home made kimchi better in this dish. Their trademark mayonnaise is also featured here, I like what these guys are doing, reusing the same ingredients to save on costs. Everybody wins! Oh i nearly forgot to mention the hot yuzu! This beverage was the ideal answer to the freezing Melbourne weather. It tasted like a sweet lemon juice, and it helped my food settle.

Wasshoi is a great bang for buck eating place with delicious food. I have a feeling we’re going to be coming back here a lot whenever we’re at Prahran Market. Cheap food and cheap fruits and veggies, it allows us to spend more money on wine! After all, life’s all about balance right?

Approx $15 AUD per prson
Address: 163 Commercial Road, South Yarra VIC 3141
Phone +61 3 9639 5051
Website: wasshoi.com.au

Wasshoi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


All you can eat was the term we used growing up, and it meant permission to eat till you drop! Later on the word ‘buffet’ was used more commonly and I had always felt that it was just a glammed up version of ‘all you can eat’. I believe the difference between the two is that food at a buffet is always displayed and people help themselves. Okami doesn’t do this, food is ordered and then served by the waiting staff. They proudly advertise – everything on the all you can eat menu is $32.80 per person. I appreciate a restaurant who is upfront with me, I know exactly what I’m getting and how much my expenditure will be. Out of respect for Okami, I promised to give it my all and eat ALL THE FOODS!

The selection of foods here was very decent indeed. Some of the categories include – sushi/sashimi, dumplings, deep fried foods, noodles, rich, ice cream, etc. They even had a garden salad as an option, but I wasn’t going to go anywhere near that, as I had bigger missions to accomplish. The biggest test with these all you can eat Japanese places is always the sushi/sashimi. If this isn’t any good, they’ll be travelling down a slippery slope. Okami passed with flying colours, the fish was fresh and the salmon had a lovely layer of fat. I was surprised as I didn’t expect the fish to be so good!

The seaweed salad and squid salad were also stand outs. You have any idea how expensive these salads are!?! Over $5 for a small container at most places, and Okami was piling it on. I went to town with the squid salad, as it’s one of my favourite salads. The grilled squid wasn’t overcooked, and the teriyaki steak was soft and tender. I’m not a huge fan of deep fried foods, but their prawn tempura was decent too.

A lot of these all you can eat places would set a seating time limit, then bring out the food at a snails pace. Common strategy used in the Asian all you can eat world to minimise the customer’s food intake. Okami did not impose such strategy, and food was brought out promptly, huge advantage for big eaters such as myself. They also allowed us to tailor certain foods, for example they made just a salmon sushi/sashimi platter exclusively for us when we requested it. Don’t mean to disrespect the other fishes, but the salmon is the best fish here.

Long gone are the days of quality $20 something all you can eat places, the new price range is in the $30s. For the food quality we got, I felt that their price of $32.80 was well justified and I wouldn’t hesitate to bring my family here. There’s a fine print on their menu that any wastage over 200 grams would incur an extra charge, I fully support this move as food wastage is not to be tolerated! I sound like a broken record sometimes as with all my all you can eat/buffet reviews I say this, but PLEASE only order what you can finish. Lastly, take this for what it’s worth, but one of my trusted food advisers told me that he went to another franchise and it was very ordinary. This one I went to in Hampton looks to have the best reviews and I can vouch for them!

Approx $35 AUD per person
Address: 530 Hampton Street, Hampton VIC 3188
Phone: +61 3 8899 6631
Website: www.okamirestaurant.com.au

Okami Japanese Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


We seem to be having my favourite cuisine Japanese a lot lately. Sometimes I don’t realise these things until I look at our photos inventory and then reality hits… not that I’m complaining though! Maybe we should go to a French restaurant soon to keep Helen happy. Well anyway… enough self reflection, let’s get on with this review! Tataki is a Japanese restaurant located in Elsternwick. The street was relatively quiet at night, and we were able to get parking right outside the restaurant. There’s a glass section at the front of the restaurant which displayed faux Japanese food, I thought this was kinda cool as it reminded me of Japan.

The interior of Tataki felt clean and comfortable. The sushi chef station is right at the front, again a very traditional Japanese setup. My only two minor criticisms were the chairs and the loud slamming of the door. The chairs just had a total lack of back support, and I was lucky I didn’t sit here for hours as that would most likely kill my back. Their door also slammed very loudly each time the Uber Eats delivery people picked up an order. It was loud enough to make the customers jolt every time! The waiting staff did constantly come out to check the door but I don’t think there was anything they could do, I think the door gas strut might need to be replaced as it clearly wasn’t doing it’s job properly.

Food wise, we ordered the beef tataki, salmon belly nigiri and kingfish belly nigiri for entrees. For mains, I got a grilled miso salmon & vegetables, and Helen got the lobster and salmon special roll. The beef tataki was ok…. I wouldn’t go out of my way for it. Whilst the beef was fresh, and the sauce was good, the beef itself was overcooked. I would have preferred it a lot rarer. My salmon on the other hand suffered a worst fate, it was extremely overcooked and was tough, rough and once was enough. I felt like this salmon died in vain.

On the flip side, the quality of all the fishes which didn’t require cooking were at a very high standard. The salmon belly nigiri and kingfish belly nigiri were some of the freshest and tastiest sushi I’ve had in Australia. Helen’s lobster and salmon roll was flavoured well and the grilled salmon was soft with a hint of char. One thing I did notice was that the sushi and sashimi was priced really high, and was comparable to other high class Japanese restaurants. Even the lobster and salmon roll was priced at $25 for 8 pieces. I’m shocked and confused with the price at the same time. Was the fish high quality? Yes. Was it expensive for this restaurant setting? Also yes. So therefore I’m conflicted as to whether or not I think it’s worth the price.

Tataki felt like a mixed bag of lollies. They’ve hit the wide spectrum of bad, ok, good and great. The inconsistencies shines through and was reflected in their dishes. The price discrepancies are also confusing. It’s hard to see how the lobster and salmon roll can be priced at $25 for 8 pieces. It seems as though their true strengths lie in their sushi and sashimi, but be prepared to pay dearly for these dishes also. All in all, I respect the freshness of their produce, but I cannot say that this is a big enough draw for us to come back.

Approx $50 AUD per person
Address: 470 Glen Huntly Road, Elsternwick, VIC 3185
Phone: +61 3 9523 5275
Website: tataki.com.au

Tataki Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Shyun Ramen

Down the street from Shyun, there’s their sister restaurant Shyun Ramen. It’s small and inconspicuous, but Matcha lovers will no doubt be drawn in by their lit up Matcha sign. As well as serving ramen (which is what their name implies) they have a wide selection of Matcha iced lattes. More on this later… first let’s talk about the parking! Trying to find parking on Koornang Road can be a difficult task to say the least, going up and down with a car right up your a** can be pretty stressful times. I’ve personally had more success with the carpark at Shepparson Avenue, but people are catching on, so I’ve had to park further down Neerim Road these days. I’m revealing all my parking spots, please be nice and leave a spot for me!

Walking into Shyun Ramen is like a trip down memory lane as it looks similar to a lot of restaurants in Japan. All the tables are squashed on the left and the kitchen is on the right, because real estate in Carnegie is expensive yo! Don’t expect any personal space here as it’s literally shoulder to shoulder. A guy asked to sit next to us, but when another table was available, he quickly slipped away like a ninja! Nothing fancy here… wooden tables and coloured stools. Be prepared to listen into other people’s conversations and vice versa. I didn’t mind this though because it spells bang for buck food, and it turned out to be great value indeed.

We started off with the wagyu beef tataki as our entree. It was seared on the outside and rare on the inside. We would have preferred it more rare, but I think most people would prefer it like this, gotta cater to the crowd! Great acidity, yet the sauce was still pleasant without being too intrusive. It’s probably one of the better beef tatakis we’ve had as of late, great start to our dining here.

I had the classic pork ramen with a shoyu based pork broth, the benchmark where ramens are rated on. Helen got a Tokyo ramen which is pretty much like my pork ramen except it comes with a light soy based broth. I enjoyed both the soup bases, the soy based one was more punchy in flavour, whereas the pork broth was richer and lubricated my lips after each slurp. Yes you heard right… slurp it up people, it’s the proper way to eat ramen! We both unanimously agreed that the pork broth was better, but we may pick the soy based to mix it up every now and then. The noodles weren’t overcooked and the corn had good texture to it. I’m not sure if it’s fresh off the cob, but I suspect it may be a higher quality packet corn. I thoroughly enjoyed my ramen, but there is one bone I have to pick with Shyun Ramen… why was there only one piece of pork!?! I’m a growing man! At least give me another piece for old time’s sake. The pictures on the menu shows two piece of pork… did we get scammed? I’m a little emotional because the pork tasted pretty damn good.

We finished off with some Matcha goodness. The decision as to what to get was tough because they have a huge range of iced Matcha lattes. You can have one with red bean, green tea softee with strawberry, cream with strawberry and chocolate syrup, etc. There’s about 12 varieties to choose from. Helen went for a classic iced Matcha with cream latte. She asked me if I wanted to share, but I aint no fool! I got myself a nice green tea softee, which is a soft serve. It wasn’t too sweet and had that tinge of bitterness I was looking for… perfect.

Apart from only getting one piece of pork I’ve enjoyed everything about Shyun Ramen. Everything was very tasty and decent value. To give you an idea, our beef tataki was $7.90 and our ramens were $11.90 each (add $5.50 for a drink and 3 gyozas). My green tea softee was $2.50. A very affordable weekday eating place which doesn’t blow the bank balance. I have an inkling feeling that we may become regulars here…

Shyun Ramen
Approx $20 AUD per person
Address: 73 Koornang Rd, Carnegie VIC 3163
Phone: +61 3 8394 5971
Website: shyunramenbar.com.au

Shyun Ramen Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


We must have Japanese fever here at One Piece Left! Two Japanese restaurant reviews in a row, where the name nearly sounds the same… try and not get the two confused peeps. So on our search for weekday and budget friendly Japanese food, we came across Aoba. This restaurant had unusually high reviews for it’s genre, and we were a little skeptical to say the least. Before I talk about the food, here are some quick observations on Aoba.

1) The place is really small and only has one chef and one waiting staff
2) The restaurant smells like expelled oil, and you will end up smelling like that by the time you walk out
3) There are spelling mistakes everywhere on the menu. Words like ‘dineer’ and ‘dumpring’. I must admit… ‘dumpring’ made me chuckle, I was starting to think they were doing it on purpose!

So let’s talk a bit about the food. I got the Wafu porterhouse steak. The sauce was not overpowering as it allowed the beef to be the star of the show. No instructions were needed as the beef was cooked medium rare, the way a porterhouse should be cooked. The portion size was also really generous and it came with a bowl of rice. At $21 I’m not complaining! You know how hard it is to find a steak for $21 these days? I was very impressed with the quality to price ratio with this steak and Aoba in general.

Helen got the AOBA dinner set which consisted of 2pcs spring rolls, 2pcs pork dumplings, 3pcs agedashi tofu, 6pcs of sashimi, 1 main with miso soup and steamed rice. Not a bad deal indeed for $29! Everything from the starters was cooked fresh and very tasty. The tofu was crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. The salmon sashimi was a quality cut with plenty of fattiness.

Helen chose the chicken karaage with rice for her main. The batter was flavoured perfectly and the chicken was juicy and succulent. Along with the mayonnaise dipping sauce, it was a real highlight dish!

Some non sweetened Japanese green tea to wash down the oil from the chicken kaarage and we were some happy campers! But there’s always room for dessert, so we shared a green tea ice cream. It had the trademark green tea bitterness and it wasn’t too sweet at all. I’d like to give a quick shout out to the reviewer who said that the ice cream was too icy and hurt their teeth…. absolute CLASSIC! Thanks for making my day!

I think we may have found our perfect weekday Japanese restaurant. Who knows… we may even push the boundaries and come here on weekends too! All the food was what we hoped for and more, well deserving of their high praising reviews. Two thumbs up from us!

Approx $25 AUD per person
Address: 279 Glenferrie Rd, Malvern VIC 3144
Phone: +61 3 9509 3399

Aoba Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


There has been quite a bit of chatter lately in the foodies world about this amazing new place that offers top restaurant quality food in the food court of Chadstone Shopping Centre. Yes, you heard right. The food court. A place where you would generally go for some cheap, fast food, sit down at one of the public tables to gobble it all up and then get up and continue your shopping. But ladies and gentlemen, there has now been a shift in this normality. A stone has been thrown into this peaceful lake of food outlets and it is trying to change how we perceive how food courts should be!

With all this chatter, we were super excited to be heading to OMI, located in the old food court on the ground floor of Chadstone. Keeping in mind that these guys have only been opened for 2 months, they were already getting some great reviews from the foodie community.

Their menu was simple, with only about 10 items to choose from. From reading their menu, their specialty is wagyu beef which they source from renown local suppliers so we had to make sure we ordered one of their wagyu dishes. Their 65 degree sous vide egg, and their flavoured Japanese rice is featured in most of their dishes and it looked aesthetically pleasing!

I ended up ordering the Black Truffle Wagyu which was $15.90 and Davin ordered the Salmon Salted Egg, also $15.90. We ordered the Truffle Fries to share for $6.90, and the Green Tea Creme Brulee which was $4.90. With an iced lemon tea for our drink, our total bill for this dinner came out to be about $40. Now, we don’t always list out prices for each individual dish but I felt that it was important for you to see how very cheap this meal was for the quality of food they were offering! After we placed our orders we were given a buzzer to take away and we sat down at one of the public tables nearby.

The buzzer went off fairly quickly and Davin went off to collect our food. We were shocked at the speed of them preparing and plating up the food! It came out looking just like the photos on the menu! By now I’m sure you’re dying to know the verdict of the food? It. Was. Truly. Amazing. We were in total awe at how good the food was. The wagyu beef was full of flavour and really tender. Davin’s salmon was cooked to absolute perfection and the sauce that came with it was delicious. The 65 degree egg in each of our dishes was also cooked to perfection and oozed out its lovely yolk when broken. Their Japanese rice was so flavoured, and I know I’ve said the word perfection a number of times now but it really was that. Both our dishes were complemented with some edamame beans and pickled vegetables which went really well. The truffle fries were also delicious and completed our meal. So we literally scoffed everything pretty quickly because it was SO good. We were so content after and shared the green tea brulee which was surprisingly also very nice. It had good strong flavours of green tea and wasn’t too sweet which was great for us.

We literally finished everything within about 15 minutes and couldn’t stop talking about how great the food was, and what good value! We’ve been going on for ages about not having many good local Japanese restaurants around, and so I think this is one place we will be visiting very often. When we got up to leave and started walking, one of the staff from OMI saw us, smiled and asked us how the food was. We told her it was really good and thought it was lovely that she asked us! You don’t normally get that type of service at a food court!

So my lovely readers, we encourage you to check this place out because it’s a game changer. And where else can you show up in thongs on a hot day to order such amazing, high quality food for these type of prices? Please, experience it for yourself and check it out!

Approx $20 AUD per person
Address: Chadstone Shopping Centre (B064)
Phone: 0490 743 219
Website: omigroup.com.au

Omi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


On a Sunday night we decided to look for a local Japanese restaurant. We always struggle to find good Japanese food without having to travel into the city which is really frustrating.  We came across Matsuzaka in Caulfield South which looked promising so off we went!

The restaurant itself looked quite traditional from the outside. Upon entering we realised how spacious it was inside too. There were plenty of wooden tables and chairs, with Japanese inspired paintings featured on the walls, and Japanese music playing in the background.

The menu was quite extensive and had a lot of items to choose from. We felt a bit overwhelmed by the abundance of choices!  We ended up ordering the sushi and sashimi platter to start with which was really good. The sashimi was very fresh and the vinegar rice was done perfectly. We also decided to order a soup each.

I got the Osuiomono soup which had seafood, seaweed and mushroom, and Davin got the Tamago soup with egg and mushroom. Both soups were really nice and flavoured, however we both agreed we liked the Tamago soup more as it was more flavoured and the egg made it more special.

We also ordered the Kanimushi which were their original steamed crab dumplings. This was a bit disappointing. It tasted really mushy, and more like those fish balls you normally get in hot pot. It definitely didn’t feel like a special dish, and I let Davin finish most of it.

For mains, I ordered the Unagi Bento which had grilled eel in a sweet soy sauce, sashimi, deep fried tofu, salad and steamed rice. The grilled eel was flavoured really well, the sashimi was super fresh just like the sashimi we had as part of our entree platter. The deep fried tofu was surprisingly cooked to perfection! It had that lovely crispiness to it on the outside and was complemented with a light sweet sauce. Overall it was a good bento box.

Davin ordered the Oyakodon which had grilled chicken fillet pieces with egg and onions in soya sauce on rice. Now we have to say that we have been quite fortunate to try the real deal when we were in Tokyo, and this traditional dish was SO good there. We weren’t of course expecting the Oyakodon to be at the level of our experience in Tokyo here at this restaurant, but hopefully it would have some resemblance of it.

Unfortunately we can’t say it had any resemblance to the dish. In fact when it came out, Davin almost called the staff back to say it looked like the wrong dish! Upon closer inspection it did have the chicken, egg and onions but it was presented very differently. The chicken was too sweet and overall the dish didn’t taste the best.

I also ordered a Saketini which is their Japanese version of a martini. However it tasted it a bit light and diluted to me so I probably wouldn’t order it again.

In conclusion, the experience was okay. We weren’t wowed by the experience but I guess if we were really craving Japanese and didn’t want to travel too far we would consider coming back here again.

Approx $35 AUD per person
Address: 809 Glen Huntly Rd, Caulfield VIC 3162
Phone: +61 3 9523 9904

Matsuzaka Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato



Hey everyone! It feels like it’s been loooong time since we’ve published a post. We’ve been super busy travelling, working on other projects and then studying for my final exam ever! Now that’s done, we’re back into the swing of things such as our love for food.

Calia has been a place that we have wanted AND have attempted to get in to try for a while now. Located at Emporium Melbourne in the CBD, the Japanese menu has been designed by Michelin star chef Francisco Javier Araya. The reviews for this place has been high and the photos of the dishes looked amazing so we were dying to check it out. Attached to the dining area is also a retail concept space which stocks and showcases high quality, luxury food and food related products.


However they are only open until 7.30 pm from Saturday to Wednesday and 9.30 pm from Thursday to Friday, and they don’t take bookings. Therefore you really just have to show up and try your luck at putting your name on the wait list. They take your number down and text you when it’s ready. However there are no guarantees you’ll get in because like us when we first tried, if it reaches almost closing time then you’ve missed out for the night. Their dining area is not huge either so the only tip we have is to get there as early as possible.

On this joyous night we decided to get there at 5.30 pm, and lo and behold, we were seated within about 20 minutes! We were so excited! While we were waiting we just browsed around in their retail store which had items ranging from wine, cured meats and truffle slices to tea pots, whiskey glasses and honey dippers.


Once we were seated we perused the menu and realised we pretty much wanted to try almost everything because it all sounded amazing! After some time though we narrowed it down. From the grazing menu we ordered the Alaskan king crab claw baked in miso mayonnaise, Unami fries, raw scallops dressed in wasabi ponzu sauce, baked scallops (cause we just had to try both versions!), and ox tongue with yakitori sauce.



The Alaskan king crab claw was a bit disappointing as it was dry and had no crab flavour at all. I think they relied heavily on the very strong miso mayonnaise. It was probably our least favourite dish of the night. The Unami fries were absolutely amazing! They were crunchy and flavoured with seaweed and the perfect spices. We couldn’t stop eating them! The raw scallops were SO fresh and their light dressing ensured the scallops itself were the hero of the dish. This was one of my favourite dishes of the night and I took my time savouring it. The baked scallops were also delicious and the creamy mayo sauce they baked it in was perfectly balanced in flavours.




What surprised us the most however was the ox tongue. When it came out we were wondering if it was really ox tongue or whether it was actually beef as they were presented on skewers as thick square shaped pieces. I guess we were envisioning thin slices of meat being ox tongue. But oh my gosh they were ox tongue and they were so soft! The meat literally melted in our mouths. They were SO good! The best ox tongue we’ve ever had! We also enjoyed it with this special green matcha beer they recommended which went down really well.



For the mains we ordered the marbled Sukiyaki bowl which had premium Marble 9+ wagyu slices with a 63 degrees egg and rice. This dish was SO tasty! The wagyu was so soft and flavoured perfectly, a spoonful of the wagyu, the rice and the egg was heaven. We also ordered the Ochazuke Samon which had grilled sustainably caught Tasmanian salmon with a dashi tea broth. The tea broth was lovely however the salmon was a bit dry. We recently had a similar dish with the tea broth in the U.S which was better.



With dessert we ordered the chocolate lava cake which oozed of warm matcha ganache. This dessert was to die for and we loved that strong bitterness of the dark chocolate. Really yummy dessert. We were also given a complimentary dessert which was their newly created crepes filled with the loveliest yuzu flavoured cream. It was really good and I would definitely order that again.

The service was good and there were a lot of staff to attend to their diners. Food came out super quick. We did struggle a bit in communicating with one of the staff because his English wasn’t that good, but other than that they were really friendly and accommodating. The prices for high quality food such as this are also VERY reasonable.

Overall it was a great experience and we’re really glad we got the opportunity to try their food.


Approx $40 AUD per person
Address: Shop 8, Level 3/287 Lonsdale St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Phone: +61 3 9662 1688
Website: calia.com.au

Calia Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sakura Kaiten Sushi


So a friend of mine is currently over in Japan having the time of her life skiing and eating, sending me pics of her eating adventures (at my request), which of course made me really miss all the amazing food over there.  I thought that it was timely then that our next blog post was on a Japanese dining experience in Melbourne!

If you’re looking for a good sushi train restaurant with top quality produce in Melbourne, then Sakura Kaiten Sushi is one to check out. It’s been on our very long ‘to try’ list for quite some time and finally we did it. The outcome? Why didn’t we try this place earlier?!


Not to be confused with their sister restaurant Sakura Kaiten II which is located on Lonsdale St, the Sakura Kaiten Sushi we visited is located on Little Collins St, CBD and is the higher rated out of the two. It is a fairly small and intimate place so if you’re like us and don’t want to spend too much time waiting in the queue outside, call up and make a booking. We didn’t think that they took bookings but were pleasantly surprised when we called and they allowed us to reserve two seats.


Now let’s get straight into the food. Just like most other sushi train restaurants, there are different coloured plates of glorious food that slowly travel by you for your choosing. Each colour represents a price (i.e. orange plates are $2.80, pink plates are $3.80 etc.). But of course being the piglets that we are, Davin and I never take notice of that and more look out for what looks good, generally taking plates off the conveyer belt as fast as they are topping it up. Okay maybe that’s an exaggeration but you know what I mean!

The quality of the produce was the closest reminder of Japan for us. The seafood was definitely fresh and we gobbled up more sashimi and nigiri than we probably should have. It would be too much to list every plate we tried but one of the highlights included the super tuna belly nigiri. Oh my gosh the tuna belly literally brought us back to Tokyo when we were just ordering plates and plates of the nice pink super fatty tuna nigiri over there because it was so good. Well this tuna belly nigiri for Melbourne standards was pretty damn good and pretty close to Japan! The tuna literally melted in our mouths and we could taste the fattiness of it on our lips. Of course we couldn’t stick to just one plate and took a few more plates for our feasting.




We also really liked the salmon cream cheese roll, the octopus salad, salmon with lobster salad sakura flower, scallop nigiri, grilled salmon nigiri, grilled yellow tail nigiri, calamari nigiri, tsubugai nigiri, salmon belly sashimi, only to name a few! Even their deep fried oysters and chill prawn dumplings were top notch. We were so full by the time we walked out but was very satisfied with the food. Highly recommend if you are craving a taste of Japanese!


Sakura Kaiten Sushi
Approx $40 AUD per person
Address: 61 Little Collins St, Melbourne CBD, VIC 3000
Phone: +61 3 9663 0898

Sakura Kaiten Sushi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato