07 May Hibachi, Melbourne CBD
It’s a odd part of King Street, with a mishmash of restaurants, offices, pubs and bars. We step in from the quiet road to find ourselves in the warm, and more traditional-looking Japanese restaurant, Hibachi.
A semi-private tatami room next to the open kitchen is equipped with sunken tables (horigotatsu). There are, in fact, four of these rooms throughout the venue.
Hibachi’s Volcano Roll comes with prawn, salmon and asparagus. The cold rice is quite firmly packed and a little undercooked, but the flamed spicy scallop mayo that’s coating the roll is tasty, and has a slightly cheesy flavour.
Kaki Cocoon is a dish of Pure Coffin Bay Oysters, which are unexpectedly battered, then wrapped in plenty of Kataifi and served with dobs of wasabi mayo. Marinated seaweed and slice of lemon hidden underneath each oyster bring a freshness that helps to cut through the greasiness of the pastry strands.
The grilled scallops of the Hotate Misoyaki are quite firm in texture, and the miso mustard sauce is sweet. Wagyu Su-te-ki sirloin is perfectly cooked, and comes with a sauce that is full-flavoured and garlicky, though is quite salty.
I love the fine texture of black cod, and tonight we try the fish with Kinzanji Miso, a type of miso that uses whole, rather than smashed or blended rice, barley and soybeans. It might look a little plain, but the black cod is very nicely cooked, and the melt-in-your-mouth protein is the highlight of the meal.
To accompany the proteins, we have the Unagi Yaki Meshi instead of plain white rice. The fried short-grain rice comes with sliced grilled unagi, egg, zucchini and a touch of the sweet kabayaki sauce. It’s a bit stickier than the Chinese fried rice we’re more familiar with, which makes it easier to eat together with the many ingredients inside.
Japanese restaurants tend to be expensive, but booking Hibachi though First Table provides early bird specials on the food bill for the first available dinner slot, and you can also pop-in for Hibachi’s lunch bento sets on weekdays.
Disclaimer: I received a discount to dine, courtesy of First Table, however, opinions expressed here are purely my own, and are based on my experience at the time
Signing up for a First Table account through this link will get you $5 free credit.
230 King St
Melbourne, VIC, 3000
(03) 9670 1661