Melbourne: Shoya Nouvelle Wafu Cuisine

If there was anything i noticed about Melbourne during my stay, it would be that the weather is definitely a lot colder, especially at night.

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Adding to that, the traffic during peak hour also seems a lot worse in Melbourne, this resulted in underestimating the time it would take heading back into the CBD. After a rather delayed and slightly frustrating car ride stuck in peak hour traffic, we finally arrived at Shoya for dinner.

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The interior is very simple and dimly lit, everything about the restaurant seemed very authentic even from the entrance. We noticed a small pile of salt at the entrance in which my friend in passing mentioned that it was something about getting rid of bad luck or aura. My memory doesn’t particularly remember specifically as i was more interested to see what food was on offer. Eager to get started, i let my friend take charge and order the dishes for us.

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The first dish to arrive is a beautifully arranged sashimi platter. The platter came with an assortment of different fish and uni (sea urchin). We all love raw fish and everything was very fresh as you would expect from any good Japanese restaurant.

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I was also impressed to see that instead of the usual packaged version, wasabi here is freshly grated and served at the table. From memory, the wasabi is from Tasmania and is surprisingly lighter and milder in taste.

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Following the Sashimi platter, we order an assortment of nigiri sushi between us to share. It’s been mentioned to me that Shoya is reknown for their well made sushi and so we were curious to try. The nigiri started around 6.50 per piece but it did not dissapoint.  Our hot food orders arrived shortly following the sushi accompanied by a rather underwhelming seaweed salad (10.5). The greens were crunchy but nothing memorable apart from that.

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The Amiyaki Wagyu Karubi (35) seemed very simple but it was very tender, the meat was soft and melted in the mouth. So far it had been a good experience, but the last two dishes were the most memorable to me.

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The next course arrived in a closed boxed, the way it was presented stirred up a bit of excitement and curiousity as it was my first time dining here. My friend knows i love Japanese steamed egg (Chawanmushi) and wanted to show me something different.

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The box opened up and revealed Shoya’s version of Chawanmushi (steamed egg) presented in a delicate egg shell. The savoury steamed egg is pricey (38.5ea), served with fresh crab meat and black truffle selected by the chef. My honest opinion is that it was delicious and it was interesting to try something different, however i still prefer the traditional version which im more used to.

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Our meal concluded with a final last course of cod cheek. It was a very large serving and between the five of us we struggled to finish. The meat from the cheek was delicious, containing more fat in that area, so that the soft meat easily fell off the bone.

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The serving of the cod cheek seemed never ending, as we dug more and more, we found more and more hidden away in different layers. It was a struggle for us and although it was shared, none of us could finish the rest. Shoya was definitely one of the more authentic and impressive Japanese restaurants i have ever been to. Located conveniently in Chinatown, It offers both a combination of well made authentic Japanese food as well as interesting twists on traditional dishes. We left satisfied with both the food and service, and we were definitely very very full.

E.

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