Saturday, July 03, 2010

Izakaya Den

Izakaya Den
114 Russell St Melbourne

Blink and you'll miss this restaurant, located on the corner of Little Collins and Russell streets and there's minimal signage to lead you downstairs to this hidden gem. Due to this, one would expect clientèle to have wandered down based on reading a review or word of mouth. Here a chef cannot hide, with a long, narrow kitchen open to view from hungry patrons. It provided a fascinating insight into the workings of the kitchen, with responsibilities firmly established, while here, there didn't seem to be a head chef, but rather all staff working together to delegate or assist each other. For example, in front of us the sashimi chef completed orders as they arrived, but was assisted by 3 others when orders came in a flurry, with no fuss or stress. Gather your senses quickly, as it's quite a treat seeing your food go through the process of ordering, full circle back to your plate right before your eyes.

Apologies, but I won't attempt to name the dishes! I can't remember them and their website doesn't have any details. We also devoured some unagi and octopus, whilst warming the belly with some sake. I'm pretty sure were also drinking umeshu (lemon and plum). Thanks to Leish for the great photos!
The best dish of the night. Fresh salmon, cucumber and I'm pretty sure it was radish on top

Beetroot and some tasty mushrooms
Tender little quails
Mussels in a nice sauce

Ox tongue
I can't place the type of tea, but very nice icecream with sweet potato crisps on top
Fuji Apple Mille-feuille. Great apple gelato, nice and refreshing

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