Saturday, 30 July 2011

Shou Sumiyaki Sake Bar and Grill @ Melbourne

It was by chance that we found this restaurant. For our Australia trip, we had the food trail all planned out through advance research on the affordable yet yummy places at each stop. On the last day, we had planned to go for yummy crispy pork belly sandwich at EARL Canteen and banh mi at Nhu Lan after reading about the latter here.
We went to Nhu Lan - the shop on Victoria Street had been demolished(!!!) to make way for some new office tower or other and the second outlet at Footscray was too far away. So off we headed to EARL Canteen on Bourke Street for some crackling comfort. It was a long walk as the shop was numbered 500. When we reached it, it was closed as it was located at the business district where all the adjacent premises were closed on a Saturday =.= We decided to make a last ditch attempt to eat banh mi at another outlet called N Lee Bakery on nearby Little Collins Street as I don't think banh mi is available in KL. We walked all the way back where we came from as N Lee is numbered 62 only to find out that the shop too is also closed -_____________________________-" Aren't most Asian shops open all day???
After being disappointed thrice, I decided I had to have some Japanese to cheer myself up. Off we went to Little Bourke Street for some pick-me-up. The shop front of Shou Sumiyaki looked very posh and we would never have entered had it not been for the menu proclaiming ramen lunch sets ranging between AUD 14 to AUD 16 <big grin>
Posh Japanese restaurant

Bar Counter

Ocha and Genmaicha

The tea is served in an authentic ceramic pot that looks like it was handcrafted individually based on the pot designs. Gosh I just love all these ceramicware - I swear I'm going to buy tons of this when I go to Japan and ship them back to KL d^^b 
Minced garlic, chilli pepper flakes and soy sauce


As part of the lunch set, we were served an appetiser of the day which was cucumber salad dressed in sesame sauce with a few slices of wagyu beef. Very dainty presentation. The cucumber salad was very refreshing and tasted great with the coating of sesame sauce and sprinkling of lightly toasted sesame seeds. The three small slices of blanched wagyu beef were very tender and yummy. 
Salmon sashimi

JS ordered the Salmon Sashimi Ramen Set which came with three slices of salmon sashimi which were very fresh and juicy. Unfortunately, it did not top Munakata's, possibly because the ones at Shou were not as thick as the ones at Munakata. 

I had the Gyoza Ramen Set which came with three (probably the shop owner's favourite number) pieces of gyoza, vinegarish dressing and a side salad. The gyozas were lightly pan fried resulting in a rather soft dumpling. I used the term "vinegarish" dressing as the sauce was not as sour as vinegar should be but it still went well with the gyozas. It also gave the otherwise plain salad a bit of flavour. 
Tonkotsu Ramen with Char Siu

All ramen sets came with char siu with a choice between miso or tonkotsu broth. Being deprived of pork (me more so than JS), we of course chose the tonkotsu broth. As befitting a posh place, the ramen did not disappoint. The broth was thick and flavourful, somewhat like drinking your mum's homemade pork bone soup. The addition of fried garlic bits in the soup added to the flavour. If you do not like garlic then it would be a bit of a pain trying to prevent the golden bits floating into the soup ladle.
The ramen was springy and not starchy and went well with the bamboo shoots, spring onions, bean sprouts and sliced woodear fungus. The boiled egg was perfectly done with a firm yet runny golden yolk.
The highlight was the char siu. Thick slices of melt-in-your-mouth meat, it was a mixture of both lean meat and fat and both were tender and meltingly soft.

PawPoints: 4 Paws

Shou Sumiyaki Sake Bar and Grill
160 Little Bourke Street
Melbourne CBD
Tel: 03 9654 3993
Tue - Sun: 12pm - 3pm (Lunch)
Sun - Thu: 5pm - 10pm (Dinner)
Fri - Sat: 5pm - 12am (Dinner)

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