I was wrong. I was entirely expecting the tired old formula that so many of the typical “fine-dining” restaurants residing along Southbank tend to deliver. The fact that it had “fusion” (tired) and “Japanese” (overdone) as its calling cards, along with, as I mentioned above, residing along Southbank, I was expecting a relatively generic eating experience that would be unrealistically overpriced. I’m glad Sake showed me otherwise.
While Sake Restaurant isn’t cheap, what it delivers in service, ambience and most importantly, Japanese food that has been experimented with to surprise old traditionalists (like myself), is well worth the money, especially on those special occasions.
Standouts were the Glacier 51 ‘toothfish’ with miso marinade, Wagyu Teriyaki shiitake with buckwheat and yakiniku sauce, and the desserts. Wow, were the desserts good. What they may have lacked in overall complexity (we’re not talking B&P, or Luxbite), they absolutely delivered in execution. We had the Ichigo Yuzu Frozen Vanilla Parfait with strawberry crisps, yuzu juice strawberry sorbet and the 15 Nihon Nemesis Delicate Chocolate Cake with matcha crumble and raspberry sorbet honeycomb. They were spot on.
Presented alongside a myriad of drinks, this was probably what seperated Sake from everything else. Their bartenders are extremely clued in (with the head bartender having spent much of his time in Japan doing some serious research), Sake offers a drink list that is not only creative, but unique to the Melbourne dining scene. Also they have a gingerale called “Hitachino” that is absolutely killer.
In a Sentence: Some damn fine fusion dining. If you’re after Japanese dining with a twist, this is the place to be.