Are you one of those people, like me, who sometimes develops such an overwhelming love for a place, that you’ll return twice in one week?
The place that has my heart this time, is relatively new – Edosei, located right next to another Juji favourite, Namoo, on Barrack Street.
On our first visit, J and I stopped in for a quick lunch. We were impressed by the clean, modern interior of the restaurant, and the smooth, efficient service.
The single course lunch set was our choice, offering thoughtful, high quality dishes at a reasonable price. Each set comes with rice, pickles and miso as standard, and you can choose between a range of protein ‘mains’.
J’s sashimi selection featured fresh fish from the Melbourne fish markets, including tuna, salmon, kingfish, snapper and one sweet, tender scallop.
Not surprisingly, I chose the fried chicken. Because it was my birthday. And if you ask me, fried chicken on your birthday should be mandatory.
I was delighted to see something other than the standard katsu or karaage chicken offerings – with bone-in mini-drummettes, skin-on and fresh from the fryer, with a light, crisp coating.
It reminded me a lot of the Chinese restaurant favourite ‘Boxing Chicken’, but it so much better.
The food was so good, I immediately asked the manager for a dinner reservation as we paid our bill.
The Edosei Special ($10.00 for two pieces) are crab cakes, featuring a brûlée-like creamy mayo coating around a thick layer of picked crab surrounding a core of white fish and avocado.
I’m somewhat pleased this only comes as a serve of two, because I would not be able to restrain myself from eating all the things, even if the portion was tripled.
The five kinds of sashimi ($45.00) made a re-appearance, as we’d deemed it too good to miss after our recent lunch. We were pleased to see the same line up of fresh fish – clockwise from bottom, salmon, scallop, kingfish, tuna and snapper in the centre.
But Juji, I hear you ask, “eight bucks for two pieces of sushi?!”
It’s not the most affordable sushi I’ve eaten, that’s true. However, I do think it’s among the best quality I’ve tried. Why? The rice, with its separate, perfectly glossy grains, and restrained seasoning. The omelette, which was only mildly sweet, showcasing the flavour of the eggs. And the eel; which was grilled in-house and glazed with a sweet soy-based tare, far removed from the pre-packaged eel, that’s the usual standard.
Neither of us had ever tried green tea soba, and we were glad to rectify that by trying Edosei’s Kawara soba ($30.00). The soba was served over a searingly hot ceramic plate, giving the noodles a bit of a bite as they were crisped up by the heat of the dish.
Topped with thin slices of grilled wagyu beef and shredded omelette, the noodles were served with a light sweet soy broth, which you dip your noodles in before enjoying each mouthful.
I was keen to try the dessert too – spotting house made cheesecake and pannacotta on the menu. We tried the Ama Yakko ($14.00), pannacotta with fresh fruit and Okinawan brown sugar syrup.
I was surprised to see it was packed out, even on a Wednesday night. I was immediately glad I’d organised a reservation, especially as I noticed the phone ringing and reservations being made throughout the course of our meal.
It was also great to see that most of the customers in the restaurant were Japanese (I figure it’s a good sign, just like seeing Chinese people in a Chinese restaurant).
My favourite table (besides ours) was the somewhat jolly group of ten Japanese businessmen, sharing shot after shot of sake and enjoying an off-menu set menu.
We really enjoyed our meal at Edosei, and from the happy chatter we heard inside the restaurant, it was clear that the feeling was shared by the other diners in the restaurant.
For opening times, see the Edosei Facebook Page