Japanese is easily top of my list when it comes to cuisines.  It’s the food I crave on many occasions – the freshness of sashimi, the variety of a bento box or the comfort of donburi.  But I also love the welcome that comes with entering Japanese restaurants.  The call of “IRASSHAIMASE” on arrival makes you feel instantly at home.

Sake Restaurant is a new addition to the recently renovated Hamer Hall complex.   It’s self-described as modern Japanese and their extensive range of dishes delivers on both that promise but also familiar, more traditional pieces for the less adventurous.

The menu is HUGE!  So rather than attempting any decision making, we elected to have the waitress choose on our behalf with a few dietary requests. Having already demolished a bowl of edamame and ordered a glass of sake, the first dish to arrive (that we were told is a “must” with sake) was Kingfish sashimi served with a yuzu dressing and jalapenos.

Sake Restaurant Kingfish Sashimi with JalapenosKingfish Sashimi with… Jalapenos!

We were then delivered crispy chicken karaage served with three dipping sauces: spicy mayo, jalapeno dressing and a tomato salsa beautifully presented in a paper cone and bamboo sake box!

Sake Restaurant Chicken KarageChicken Karaage with three dipping sauces

One of my all time favourite Japanese dishes, is Nasu Dengaku. Sake has their own take on this classic, serving the eggplant cut into quarters with 2 different miso pastes on top: white miso and black miso.  The black miso was new to me in this context, much richer (almost like molasses) but quite delicious.

Sake restaurant Nasu Dengaku - grilled eggplant with two types of miso sauce Edited 2Nasu Dengaku – grilled eggplant with two types of miso sauce

Our last dish (and the favourite of the evening) was the rather decadently named ‘Glacier 51’ Patagonian Toothfish which was glazed with miso and served in small lettuce cups.

Sake Restaurant Miso marinated Glacier 51 Patagonian Toothfish in lettuce cups EditedMiso marinated ‘Glacier 51’ Patagonian Toothfish in lettuce cups

We decided to give dessert a go and when we couldn’t decide our waitress suggested organising the dessert platter… and what a platter it was, including a Green Tea Kit Kat, Green Tea Churros and White Sesame Icecream!

Sake Restaurant Dessert Platter EditedOMG – Sake’s amazing dessert platter

Pretty sure this platter was designed for four people but we managed to demolish most of it.

Sake has really considered it’s location, from the floor to ceiling glass windows that show off the city lights at night, it’s al fresco bar dining area for warm summer nights to it’s menu notes for “quick dishes if you’re grabbing dinner before the theatre”.  I know where I’ll be heading next time I’m after dinner and a show!

AM (and AR) x


Trading hrs: Monday to Friday 12 – 3pm and 5.30pm – late, Saturday – Sunday: 12pm – late

Menu link: http://www.sakerestaurant.com.au/melbourne/menu/eat

Bookings:  Available by phone or via their website

Address: Hamer Hall, Arts Centre Melbourne, 100 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne

Ph: 03 8687 0775

Website: www.sakerestaurant.com.au/melbourne

Instagram: @sakerestaurant

Twitter: @sakerestaurant

Facebook: @sakerestaurant

Must try: Sake from their extensive list (ask for a recommendation)


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