Calia has been opened for quite some time and have been meaning to drop by. When the girlies decided to catch up, I suggested Calia in Emporium for easy access and of course for Japanese brunch. Luckily for us we got there early so we were able to get a table.
We’ve walked past Pepper Lunch multiple times while venturing in the city and figured “why not?” and finally checked it out. First thing we noticed, it was self service. The downside, there wasn’t any menus available and the only ones were on the screen which a lot of people took up time just searching through what they wanted before they were set on what to order. Place your order, scan your table number and pay at the self service via card. You can order at the counter if you’re paying by cash or have a voucher and that’s another option.
Shira Nui has been on my list to hit up and seeing as work was super close to it, it was definitely a lunch break kinda place. Luckily for me, there was a lunch menu and lunch only had two sessions, 12-1PM and 1-2PM which meant, we had to leave on the dot. We visited on a Friday lunch and boy oh boy were we glad that we made a booking because it was jam-packed! We were seated immediately and as the minutes ticked by, more and more people came in and a few people were turned away due to how busy it was.
Sea urchin or a.k.a uni is delicacy most known for in Japan. I’ve mostly had it in nigiri or sushi and I jumped at the moment when I found out there was a uni specialty restaurant in town. Located in Glen Waverly off the main road sits a warehouse. You won’t miss it since it has a blown up cartoon sea urchin out front. There won’t be any parking at the venue but there’s ample street parking. Uni Boom Boom has been opened for 5 years selling uni and birds nest direct to the public and they have just opened up their eatery for one year and it provides an opportunity to taste some premium uni.
Whilst wandering around in the city we were getting a bit peckish and sifted through our Entertainment book to see what deals we had and BAM we landed at Ramen Bankara. Since anytime is ramen time, Mr D did not hesitate. We were greeted by the staff and was shown to our table (luckily we like to eat early and there were plenty of tables free). We couldn’t NOT get kaarage (fried chicken) and was super excited when it came out. Unfortunately, it was quite dry on the inside.
Tori Kaarage – $7.80
My old work colleague has been raving on about this Japanese joint that he absolutely adores and I figured why not hit it up on our next catchup. Gaijin is located on Commercial Road in South Yarra, just a bit further out than the other restaurants which means plenty of parking around. A reservation was recommended according to the website and so I followed the instructions, texted them and did not get a response. So my friend made the booking and BAM she got a reservation. Not a great start for me. Now, back to the night, the staff were super friendly and we were excited! One of the specials that night was the cheesy gyozas. I adore gyozas and I adore cheese and together, they were MAGICAL!
Cheesy Gyozas – $15
The Glen has just opened up their new dining precinct and that means more restaurants are popping up. One of those restaurants is Shujinko. Yes, there are plenty of those around Melbourne and finally, the south east finally has theirs. It’s very cosy and there’s not a lot of seatings available so it’s first in best dressed.
Shujinko has made a name for themselves and has been popping up new stores here and there. In St Collins Lane, Shujinko Express opened up and they don’t have the whole menu because, well, it’s an express venue. There are a few seats inside and out and I can imagine that it would get full at lunch throughout the week. Now, back to Shujinko, choose your dish out front, pay and grab a seat whilst the staff brings your food over to your table.
On the long stretch of Burwood Highway sits a Teppanyaki restaurant that doesn’t catch your attention unless you’re actively looking for it. There’s plenty of parking in front and behind the restaurant, so that’s one less thing you have to worry about. Walking in you’re greeted with friendly staff, laughter and loud noise. If you walked in wanting a quiet night, you’re in for a big surprise.
Japanese cuisine is one of Mr D’s and my favourite food and when there’s a place close to home, we couldn’t say no. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to try the teppanyaki side this time but the a la carte side was quite cosy. The staff were efficient, quick yet very friendly.