25 Mar Gekkazan, Melbourne CBD
This offshoot of Kenzan on Collins St used to be called Kenzan@GPO, but must have changed their name to Gekkazan in the last few months. It was easier to find than I thought. After getting off the tram stop at Bourke St I walked down Lt Bourke, then turned left down Postal Lane, which was just past Myer.
Most of the sushi came in handroll or inside out versions. I went with the handrolls because they were cheaper and I also wanted to experience the novelty of wrapping my own sushi. I picked the soft-shell crab and lettuce handroll ($4.5) and a grilled salmon onigiri ($3.2). The handroll in particular was quite a bit dearer than average, but I suspect part of it is to recover the cost of the packaging. There were plenty of seats available, but I felt bad taking a seat because I got takeaway rather than eat-in (since it was about 40c cheaper). I walked towards Elizabeth St thinking I’d sit on the steps, but came across the Gekkazan Kiosk, which was a little stall selling a smaller selection of sushi and had a few tables nearby.
The plastic packaging on both the handroll and onigiri had illustrated instructions for how to finish off the preparation. Wrapping the handroll involved peeling off the plastic from one side, rolling the rice onto the newly exposed nori, then peeling off the other side of plastic and rolling the sushi all the way. For the onigiri there was a red strip, which was pulled all the way around, splitting the plastic in the process (like the plastic wrap on chewing gum packets). This one was harder and required a bit more manipulation than the roll because the plastic was wrapped around the nori and non-peelable.
Because the nori was freshly wrapped it was delightfully crispy, as was the soft shell crab. The salmon onigiri was not as impressive as the soft shell crab, but still enjoyable.