The wonderful ingénue (she might choke on this a bit, so I'll add, for good measure, chotto!) author behind the blog of Blah Blog Blah did really well in organising the get together (given that I have never met her prior to this [face-to-face I mean]).
I Eat Therefore I Am, Jeroxie, Off the Spork and essJay Eats, we made a Motley Crue of food enthusiasts ready to tackle on this new frontier (okay, we had a little bit to drink prior to dinner... just a tiny bit!)
Luckily for us, our organiser had pre-booked our table weeks in advance (I think it was 2 months, but my memory is like a sieve!)
The food and drinks menu were rolled up and awaiting us to smooth our hands over them. The specials were displayed via a projector onto the wall (alternating between that [the specials] and a cool pixelisation of some anime character)
The teams (as we were now split for drinks and food) readily put in orders for Sake and other beverages (I quite enjoyed my Sake Mojito!)
If memory serves me, we started with the Special sake - warm (2 bottles of 400ml) at $49 each, which was described on the menu as having a "lovely texture, good for spring"! Once we were done with that, the Drinks team ordered another 2 bottles of Sake from the paper menu (the name eludes me)...
We had the Kingfish sashimi with an Asian style dressing $17
Spicy tuna tataki with garlic soy $18
Everyone was raving about the wagyu and the wasabi cream! I didn't have a taste but I had it described to me!
From the main menu, we also had the Octopus, pickled cucumber and wakame $7
So as a team (chotto!!!), we decided to order nearly one of everything on the menu (bar the ice-creams and cheeses).
So from the top (going clockwise), we had the Dark Chocolate and yuzu fondue (for 2) $14, Fuji apple Millefeulle $10, White sesame mousse, tapioca $10 and the Ginger Creme Brulee $10
In terms of taste, everything apart from the fondue was excellent. I'm not sure why, but the dark chocolate sauce clashed horribly (in my opinion) with the citrus-y taste of the yuzu... resulting in a terribly mixture!
I had a really awesome night... service was good... the wait staff were polite... although they did forget our White Asparagus order...
The entrance is a bit ubiquitous and hard to find, but once you do, just go through the blowing black curtains and follow the sound of incessant chatter to a land down under :)
*Disclaimer: All food ratings are purely based on my own experiences and how I feel about the service, food and quality
Food/ Cuisine: Japanese
Dining Style: Restaurant (Izakaya)
Overall Food Rating (Based on the Dining style): 7.5/10
Restaurant ambiance: 7/10 (long and narrow, not quite at all what you think a Japanese restaurant looks like)
Service/ Attitude: 7/10 (apart from the mysterious missing order of White Asparagus, which they apologised for and we cancelled, all was good)
Value for money: 7/10
114 Russell Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
Tel:(03) 9654 2977
Izakaya Den is open for
Lunch - Monday to Friday from 12-2.30pm
Nights - Monday to Saturday from 5.30pm (Kitchen open until Midnight)
Booking is essential for large groups (5-20 pax)
How to get there:
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