Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Shinwa Izakaya

I am very embarrassed to admit this, but boy, this post is way, way overdue. I won't say exactly how long ago, but a few months back, Raymond (my high school buddy and amazing self-taught baker) invited me along with Daisy and Nancy to dinner at Shinwa Izakaya.

Ray and Nancy are both friends with the founders of Shinwa, and were invited to dine as guests. Ray brought me along as his +1.

We were served with sake and edamame (salted, and chilli in the background) to snack on as soon as we were seated, and left the order for the evening to the owner.

I particularly also love the lotus roots chips. My mum usually boils them in soups and by then they'd lose all their delicious-ness, but the chips were crisp and I loved how it was a good variation of texture.

We kick started with this plate of sashimi which was fresh and very beautifully presented.

It was followed with sushi (I can't for the life of me remember which this is) and from hereon, the flow of food just did not stop.

Soon enough, I found myself in love with these thinly sliced premium wagyu tataki beef (marble 7 yo!!) topped with shredded onions, alfalfa sprouts and flying fish roe served with housemade dipping sauce!!

One of my favourites that night was the Kingfish Carpaccio; kingfish sashimi infused in really delicious, tangy housemade salad dressing of tomato, onions and grounded leeks, then topped with alfalfa sprouts.

You know what's the best kind of salad? Crispy soft shell crab salad served with sakura ebi and Shinwa's housemade yuzu dressing! Salad never tasted this good. Om nom nom...

Super tasty pork belly okonomiyaki!!! You can't find this anywhere else in Melbourne, only at Shinwa. I am drooling looking at my pictures and think I need to organise another trip back.

If I had to choose an ultimate favourite, it will have to be these chizu-fry!! Deep fried lightly battered cheese (3 types, uh-huh!) wrapped in Japanese oba leaf. So freaking good, my taste buds were crying tears of joy. I've never had anything like this before.

The Shinwa Tonkatsu was fried to a crisp perfection with the meat still succulent within, but the highlight for me was the housemade potato salad - it was so good, I can eat a whole bowl.

The lamb I found was a tad too salty for my liking and truth be told, this is probably the only dish I did not enjoy.

We proceeded with some yakitori thereafter. These were the cheese, yuzuwasabi and mentaiko yakitori. Basically chicken thigh topped with the respective housemade sauce which flew me right to yumtown. I really thought these were delicious... until...

...the buta lychee yakitori arrived! Lychee wrapped in sliced pork belly? OH MY GOD, IT WAS SO FREAKING GOOD! I wish I didn't have to share because I can easily have one whole skewer to myself.

I also really enjoyed the gyutan (premium ox tongue). It was very tender and flavourful. In fact, every single stick of yakitori that we had were good and had a good burst of flavours. Even the grilled saba fish you can see in the background, that was yum too.

We ended our meal with these fried mochi and goodness me, by then I was so full I felt like I was going to need to roll home. Thankfully Nancy and Ray were kind enough to give me a lift home.

All in all, I was really impressed with the food, and would definitely love to return. We don't venture out to Brunswick as often as I'd like to, but I've got Shinwa at top of mind for a while now and been wanting to bring The Boyfriend here. I bet he'll love that buta lychee skewer!

As I was invited to dine as a guest of Shinwa Izakaya, I am not too sure about the pricing, but it looks fairly reasonable if I'm basing it off their menu online.

Shinwa Izakaya - Japanese Bar & Restaurant on Urbanspoon
The restaurant has a good vibe, and service was great. If you're in for some good izakaya (tapas) food and a drink with your mates, I'd highly recommend Shinwa. They have by far some of the best yakitori's I've had in Melbourne. ;)


Daisy@Nevertoosweet said...

OMG I completely forgot about this too! Iv'e got the photos somewhere such a good night hhaha gotta do it again soon x

Daisy@Nevertoosweet said...

OMG I completely forgot about this too! Iv'e got the photos somewhere such a good night hhaha gotta do it again soon x

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