03 Oct Hinoki Japanese Pantry, Fitzroy
This sushi shop/Japanese grocery store has been on my wishlist for a long time and I finally made it today! They offer a range of sushi including hand rolls, nigiri, nosé maki, hoso maki and futomaki. If your sushi pack of choice isn’t already available at the counter the sushi chefs can prepare it fresh, leaving you free to peruse the store (or stare longingly at your order being made). There are also a few seats at the front of the shop for people to eat their sushi.
Today I picked the Nosé Maki Mix, which included Spicy Tuna, Salmon Aioli, Salmon Aburi, Hotate Hollandaise and Nasu Dengaku. Of particular note were the spicy tuna and salmon aburi. The spicy tuna had a lovely creamy spicy mayo that was more subtle than other spicy mayos I’ve had in the past. I did find the dengaku sauce on the eggplant a little too sweet for my liking. All the sushi had nicely packed rice and a good balance of sushi vinegar. I was curious to find out what was in the centre of these nosé maki because I hadn’t seen this type of sushi before – the centre of the rice rolls were filled with finely shredded carrot and/or cucumber, complementing the freshness of the seafood toppings. Having fresh seafood in the sushi was not surprising seeing as Hinoki also sells sashimi-grade fish.
Although places like Suzuran and Hinoki Japanese Pantry are more expensive than cheaper options like Sushi Sushi, the quality of the food is much better and I wouldn’t mind returning if I ever need a fix of good sushi.