Horoki Casual Dining Bar – Evening Delights

“Casual dining bar” is exactly what it suggests, not overally large dishes, one dish won’t fill you up so this is a bar you go to for late afternoon or as an after dinner bite. Above is a rice noodle with roe dressed with strips of seaweed. Below we have a beautiful sashimi salad which doesn’t disappoint….

The dishes are delicately prepared and presented to please. The raw fish melts in your mouth and the seaweed and salad is refreshingly delightful…

I crave for tataki and it looks like the more expensive types of Japanese/Korean restaurants like to use quail egg instead of chicken egg. I don’t mind either but quail is probably the preferred. Sorry for the blurry pictures (iPhone 3GS) but you can imagine the setting to be lightly lit and the bar itself is tiny and would fit a maximum or 30 people or probably less. I highly recommend this place. It’s a must if you’re in the area or if you’re up for a casual dining experience with delicately made Japanese food. The dishes are a bit pricey but absolutely worth it.

Location: 19 Liverpool St Melbourne, 3000

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Mandala Restaurant – Asian Flavours

Nice and cosy vibrant restaurant with a wonderful array of Asian flavours and tasty dishes. I did admire and applaud their presentation of their entree and desserts although our main dishes had the salad dumped on top of the meat or main dish which disappointed me. The other annoying thing was our main dishes had a side salad that had the same flavours and mixture as our ordered side salad. Does that make sense? Well it does to me and got sick of eating the same salad over and over again. So I recommend to just enjoy the salad that comes with your main.

Enough whinging, now on with the dishes. First we started off with some Salt and Pepper Squid (with asian slaw and soy vinegar), Momos (pan fried pork dumplings with sesame tomato dip) and some Apple Chaat (spiced potato, fried lentil, yogurt raita, mint and tamarind chutney). The dipping sauces did it for me for the entrees and I couldn’t wait for my lamb main.

We shared our mains and ordered a Chilli Caramel Pork Hock (with asian herb salad and orange caramel), Slow Cooked Lamb Shank (with spiced bokchoy, wombok and market vegetables) and ordered a  (with pickled plum, toasted peanuts, cherry tomato). I thought the Chilli Caramel Pork was a bit too sweet although worked well with the salad. The slow cooked lamb shank was just as I expected and melted in my mouth and the soft shell crab hardly disappoints but this time it was a little salty for my liking.

Dessert is my favourite part of every meal and because I’m a diabetic it is often a rare occasion for my partner to allow me to have dessert so I cherished it “like a fat kid loves cake”. Dessert went a little something like this Pistachio Kulfi (with wild berries and mango puree) and Mandala Melt (strawberry, pistachio and mascarpone). I know my favourite part of the night was the dessert but I reckon the desserts were fantastic and I’d go back to try those desserts again but for a challenge I might try cook something similar to those desserts.

Mandala was definitely worth the visit but the mains somewhat disappointed me. I would definitely recommend trying their desserts and to have a walk down to the toilet as the little journey on the stone path was quite pleasant or on a beautiful warm night you could ask to sit outside and watch everyone go to the toilet 🙂

For more information and booking information you can visit site (it also includes their full menu)

http://mandalarestaurant.com.au

Location:133 Commercial Road, South Yarra 3141, Melbourne, Australia

 

Shoya Japanese Restaurant – Best Japanese In Melbourne

This is my favourite Japanese restaurant in Melbourne. I highly recommend trying this place if you love Japanese food and culture. The dishes are superb, authentic and delicious. The staff are super friendly and when you leave they all bow to you.

I’ve always wondered what Shoya meant and on their website it states that it means “Rising House”. What I didn’t know is that they have 6 levels of dining and entertainment. I only knew about the Japanese style BBQ, the traditional Horigotatsu style seating, fine dining area and the sushi bar where the chef cuts and prepares the raw fish on a massive ice block. What I didn’t know was that they hid away a karaoke area and executive lounge area.

My last visit to Shoya had me trying several new dishes as you can see above. When I eat Japanese I almost always get some raw beef (tataki) as entree and always convince myself to get a plate of sashimi. In this instance, the sashimi came out inside an ice capsule which looked amazing. The quail egg that came with the beef tataki topped off the dish. I’ve tasted many different raw beef dishes and only one came close to this and that was at Wagamama’s in St Kilda many years ago, when it was good.

My favourite dishes for the night was the ox tongue wrapped in a soufle wrap and the dessert which was a panna cotta infused with black sesame and topped with powdered green tea (matcha) . If I didn’t have to share it with my girlfriend, I would of enjoyed it more.

Visit their website to see some of their tantalising dishes.

www.shoya.com.au

25 Market Lane, Melbourne, Vic, 3000
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