Posts Tagged: japanese food

Signature Lunch at Komeyui, plus I got married!

On Saturday, it finally happened, I drove to the city on CityLink, oh, and also I got married to my lovely Emmy, but this post isn’t about that (for the most part). I’m here to do another foodie blog, this time one of our favourite go-to Japanese restaurants, Komeyui in Port Melbourne. So without further ado let’s get into it, this was our wedding reception of sorts (just lunch after the simple ceremony at the Old Treasury Building), I was hoping that they would do omakase for lunch, but we had to settle for the Signature Lunch set. This set consisted of five courses:

  1. Sashimi
  2. Agedashi tofu
  3. Steak
  4. Sushi/chirashi
  5. Dessert


Sashimi course, Komeyui Signature Lunch set

Sashimi course

The first course was a sashimi course consisting of scallops, prawns, tuna belly, salmon, squid (I think), and I can only guess the white fish (possibly kingfish as it is quite common). The winner here I would have to say were the scallops, they were so tender, tuna belly is always a winner, and the squid had a really nice texture. I’m not sure if the prawn was cooked at all, maybe cured a little bit, they were great, and the wasabi was a bit different too, not the normal green one but some kind of (looks like cooked tuna) tan/brown colour, quite mild. I love sashimi :D. Of course those that can’t or won’t eat raw fish got their sashimi replaced with some cooked dish, looked like crayfish and prawns (but I can’t remember), it looked really good too, actually, we had one that does not eat seafood, but I can’t remember what he got.

Agedashi Tofu

Agedashi course, Komeyui Signature Lunch set


Follow that great selection with one of my favourite vegetarian dishes, agedashi tofu, the skin has such nice texture and the tofu inside was so soft and creamy, perfect agedashi tofu, no doubt. The sauce was rich and perfectly complimented the fluffy tofu.

Wagyu Sirloin Steak

Steak course, Komeyui Signature Lunch set

Steak course

On to the main dish, if you can call it that, it was almost like four mains and a dessert. Perfectly cooked wagyu steak (sirloin is Scotch fillet right?) with some crunchy edamame on the side, the edamame was actually really good, it had a really nice fragrance, perhaps grilled with the steak. Keep in mind I had just had steak the previous Wednesday so it was still fresh on my mind, I certainly wouldn’t have minded if the Komeyui chef was cooking my steak at Stefans either :D. I guess I needed to savour it, I probably won’t have steak again for six months as is my tendency.


  • Chirashi, Komeyui Signature Lunch set
  • Sushi course, Komeyui Signature Lunch set
    Sushi course

On to the sushi course which everyone got (except for our non-seafood lover, he got tempura veggies which looked good too!), and the hits just kept coming, I really can’t say enough about this place, they know what they’re doing. I was the lone black sheep, I chose the chirashi which is pretty much the same thing, but instead of bite-sized portions it is one long line of rice with the fish on top. Unfortunately, I’m no fish connoiseur so I can’t tell you what was on it, sea urchin at least, there was salmon roe in the sushi as well as a separate piece of salmon, the chirashi and the cooked sushi (for the non-raw fish lovers) had clam, but as for the rest of the fish, I wouldn’t bother guessing, they were either white or pink fish as you can see for yourself. No complaints from me, but I think I’d go with the sushi instead of chirashi next time, just a bit easier to eat and generally looks more appetising.

Iced cream

Dessert, Komeyui Signature Lunch set

Iced cream

Finally, dessert, this picture is actually of Emmy and my special dessert, it had a sparkler in it which I wasn’t able to capture because it fizzled out while I was busy moving glasses out of the way to take my picture :p. Still, you can see that they’ve gone out of their way to spurce up the regular dessert for us (not that we mentioned what the occasion was), it was basically the same as everyone elses except that we got some extra fruit, and our iced cream was on the side rather than in the pastry. I’m not sure if we were the only ones that got some green tea coated chocolate, which went great with the salted caramel iced cream. What a great way to end the meal, I was definitely full after that and I’m pretty sure everyone else was and if there was anybody unhappy with their meal I sure didn’t notice.

I certainly didn’t hear my dad saying that they were Chinese people running the restaurant this time! SMH

Bonus Drinks

Coedo, Shikkoku, Komeyui Signature Lunch set

Coedo, Shikkoku

Of course it was our special day and I had to have a nice drink to celebrate, and that I did, some black lager from Saitama, which is near Tokyo I believe, Coedo Shikkoku it’s called, and well, as with everything else on the table this was a pleasure to down, it wasn’t cheap that’s for sure, but that was a big reason why we didn’t want a big wedding, so that we could enjoy (perhaps) a higher quality meal with loved ones rather than something that could be mediocre due to stretching a kitchen.


Yeah, we did do that too, a small affair in the Thomas Hyde Room at the Old Treasury Building on Spring St in the CBD. Originally we were thinking of not inviting our parents and just taking a couple of witnesses, but we thought it would be better to take them despite the added hassle of transport. The morning was a little stressful with Emmy DIY-ing her hair and makeup it seemed that we were running late, so we jumped on the Monash Freeway (toll road) and cruised into town, only to realise halfway in that we’d left our passports (required for identification purposes apparently) at home. So there we were, sitting in the car on the freeway fretting about whether to turn around or carry on.

Beauty and the BEAST!

Beauty and the BEAST!

We were on time but if I had to turn around, we would definitely be way late, so in the end I dropped Emmy off to check with the office and they said it was not an issue, so no problems, and a lot of unnecessary stress. Everything went pretty well, I managed to hold myself together (I had to let out a little chuckle at one point to keep myself from losing it all together) and got through all the lines and signing of papers without shedding a single tear. We managed to wrangle our photographer into coming to lunch at Komeyui and taking some photos for us at the beach afterwards. We got a bunch of very nice photos, the weather held up despite the forecast all week predicting showers on Saturday, and maybe some of us ended up getting sunburnt even.

So now I’m a member of the exclusive Tran Pham Clan and life goes on pretty much as it was, but with a bit more debt than before :O. And we also have another anniversary date to remember, my suggestion of going to Komeyui to celebrate annually got shot down pretty fast, so maybe not until we kill some more debt. See you again in a few months after I visit another restaurant (;*^_^*;). Finally, apologies to all the single ladies out there, but this chicken has met his tiger!


I’ve replaced some of my crummy pictures (taken with my phone) with some much nicer ones (probably hard to tell which ones I know :D) taken by our photographer for the day, Chealse.


Minamishima: Yummy, yummy, yummy, sushi in my tummy!

Well, this is a very late post because we tried this place out for emmy’s birthday (her birthday tradition is to try a new authentic Japanese restaurant) which was in November, so apologies for holding out so long on this delicious (but expensive) sushi restaurant. The head chef at Minamishima used to work at Kenzan, so the quality had to be pretty high. This post will be easy but also a little boring, we took pictures (thanks to my photographer, emmy :)) of every one of the fifteen dishes as well as the extra dessert that we ordered (which we totally shouldn’t have but we did because we’re gluttons), and I took notes on all of them especially so that I could post them here. So without further ado, the pictures (I’ll number them so that you can easily match the picture to the description):

  • The man, Minamishima
  • Simple place mats
  • 1. Tempura asparagus
  • Australian King Dory
    2. Australian King Dory
  • Garfish
    3. Garfish
  • Sea perch with white radish
    4. Sea perch with white radish
  • Calamari
    5. Calamari
  • NZ Scampi
    6. NZ Scampi
  • Japanese scallop
    7. Japanese scallop
  • Akagai shellfish
    8. Akagai shellfish
  • Japanese flounder from the fin
    9. Japanese flounder from the fin
  • Bluefin tuna belly
    10. Bluefin tuna belly
  • Seared bluefin tuna belly
    11. Seared bluefin tuna belly
  • Hokkaido sea urchin
    12. Hokkaido sea urchin
  • Cured Japanese mackerel
    13. Cured Japanese mackerel
  • Egg sushi
    14. Japanese saltwater eel
  • Clam soup
    16. Clam soup
  • Red bean yoghurt with cherry blossom iced cream
    17. Red bean yoghurt with cherry blossom iced cream
  • Zen garden black sesame iced cream
    18. Zen garden black sesame iced cream
  1. Tempura asparagus – it’s asparagus with some tempura batter, nothing special.
  2. Australian King dory, nothing noted so I’m guessing it was nothing special, which by these standards must mean quality sushi but not outstanding.
  3. Garfish, the only comment is that emmy thought that the ginger was overpowering.
  4. Sea perch with white radish, this must be one of the favourites because the description is: explosion of flavours with something sour (presumably the sour was something very nice).
  5. Calamari, has sour lemon-y zest and was cut amazingly, like noodles.
  6. NZ Scampi, which looks like a prawn but was in fact like jelly, not sure what that means but sounds delicious.
  7. Japanese scallop with soy sauce, tender, that is all, must be good.
  8. Akagai shellfish from Japan, like clam, so must’ve been a bit chewy.
  9. Japanese flounder cut from the fin, had a very rich sauce, which was very yummy.
  10. Bluefin tuna belly from Japan, this was the absolute most amazing thing ever.
  11. Seared bluefin tuna belly, not as good as the raw cut, but still, amazing.
  12. Hokkaido sea urchin, very mushy, which means, the texture was like a perfect custard.
  13. Japanese cured mackerel with vinegar rice, too bad it came after the tuna belly.
  14. Japanese saltwater eel, very sweet.
  15. Egg sushi (not pictured) but tasted like chiffon cake (which makes sense).
  16. Clam soup, nothing much here, the stock didn’t have much flavour.
  17. Red bean yoghurt with cherry blossom ice cream, this was okay but nothing was going to top that tuna belly.
  18. We ordered the special dessert because we’ll probably never go back there, we were totally going to explode at this point, but we had to finish it off. The description of the dessert being a zen garden actually was better than the dessert itself, it was all right but nothing special, this place is a sushi restaurant after all, it would be hard for the dessert to stand up to the level of the sushi.

I don’t know how we ended up with 18 dishes, it was only meant to be 15, but any way, super expensive but it probably was the best sushi that we’ve ever had, maybe we can try something similar in Japan next time, if we sell our functional and healthy organs. That’s it for now, we just went to Shoya for Valentines Day, so expect another post about that soon (hopefully a little more fun).

Note: I forgot to mention that Minamishima came over and had a chat with us (can’t remember when during the meal), told us that he was from the central region near where we visited in July, seemed like a nice bloke, emmy tried to impress him by speaking some Japanese :D, maybe he gave us some extra tuna belly for that (we got three pieces if I remember correctly).


Shira Nui – Round 2

I/We haven’t had sushi for a long time, sometime last year I’m guessing, and finally decided to just say stuff it, it can’t hurt, and went back to our local amazing (and amazingly expensive) sushi bar, Shira Nui for some delectable delights. Despite our best efforts I think that Shira Nui remains undefeated (I’m just going with it, I don’t know what it actually means), I think there were five dishes the same as last time, and some new ones, including the delectable tuna belly. I even ate the pink ginger like a pro, and also appreciated the sea urchin a bit more this time, the texture is very much like custard which I’m starting to come around to as well. We even ordered a creme brulee for dessert which was very nicely done, much better than the mango parfait we had last time (I think it was a special dessert, not regular). Since we’ve broken the ice on the sushi, there will almost certainly be more to come in this regard (I’ve definitely got a few places I want to try) :D. You might notice that we even sneaked a photo of the man himself (albeit blurry, we didn’t want to anger him after all), although I did see him crack a couple smiles during the evening.

  • Cod (no soy sauce)
    Cod (no soy sauce)
  • Seared Salmon (No soy sauce)
    Seared Salmon (No soy sauce)
  • Mackerel (Soy sauce)
    Mackerel (Soy sauce)
  • Masters at work
    Masters at work
  • Clam (Soy sauce)
    Clam (Soy sauce)
  • Tuna Steak (No soy sauce)
    Tuna Steak (No soy sauce)
  • Miso Cod Belly (No soy sauce)
    Miso Cod Belly (No soy sauce)
  • Kingfish Belly (No soy sauce)
    Kingfish Belly (No soy sauce)
  • Cheesy Oyster (No soy sauce)
    Cheesy Oyster (No soy sauce)
  • Sea Urchin (Soy sauce)
    Sea Urchin (Soy sauce)
  • Tuna Belly (Soy sauce)
    Tuna Belly (Soy sauce)
  • Green Tea Creme Brulee
    Green Tea Creme Brulee


Tempura Hajime

A little Japanese restaurant in South Melbourne, very little, only 12 seats, specialising in tempura (obviously). You walk in and immediately feel like you’re in Japan, all the little plates, the orderliness, the Japanese business men. We arrived a bit after 6.30pm (what a pain getting into the city on a Friday evening) and made out way in. There are only three set menu options on the menu, the tempura set, and two tempura + sushi sets, we just went with the tempura set because Emmy can’t eat raw fish now (although there is some sashimi that she had to swap for cooked salmon). I didn’t take pictures of every dish because they were little bits of fried vegies or whatnot.

We got a starter of sashimi (cooked salmon), followed immediately by the tempura, sweet corn (just kernels, no idea how they kept it all together), asparagus, prawn, chicken and egg plant, sweet potato, tuna and avocado, zucchini and salmon, scallop and sea urchin, king dory and shiso, mushroom and prawn meat (my favourite), finished with some kakiageidon (rice with seafood vegie), and dessert of panna cotta (I forgot what they actually called it). Each dish is just a morsel really but when you eat at a pace like that where the chef is placing something new on the dish every ten minutes or so, you just feel content (or maybe you get full on drinks).

Two thumbs up, it’s great tempura, fresh and crunchy without feeling greasy, and served in a way that doesn’t make you bloated nor do you feel hungry despite the small portions. (On a side note, these pictures were taken with Emmy’s new second-hand X100, which I’ll be reviewing/posting later).

  • Sashimi
  • Teapot
  • Scallop and sea urchin
    Scallop and sea urchin
  • Kakiagedon
  • Panacotta


Shira Nui – Sushi Bar

Welcome to the monthly dtraCorp post (that’s what it seems like any way), we went to Shira Nui last week for Em’s birthday as part of what has now become an annual tradition (Japanese on Em’s birthday). Shira Nui is a sushi bar in Glen Waverley, a south eastern suburb of Melbourne, it’s widely known as a Chinese hub, but this Japanese restaurant has certainly made a name for itself. I’m not really a foodie so don’t expect me to lay on the big terms to describe the food, but I do have pictures (it was Em’s birthday so that’s my excuse) of all the dishes and can remember how most of them tasted. We had heard about omakase which is when you eat sushi with no set menu (well, probably the chef has a set menu in his head), and you sit there and wait for the chef to serve you the dishes. So we sat at the counter and waited to be served, the sushi comes out thick and fast, everyone getting the omakase gets the same stuff so you can get a preview of what you’re going to get if you so wish. Some of the sushi came with a squeeze of lemon (the chef did it, we weren’t given any) which I thought was a really good touch, I don’t think I’ve ever had that before and was thinking it would be on all the sushi or at least all the fish sushi, alas, it was not to be.

  • Pickled Starter
    Pickled Starter, nothing special about this one, a little bit of fried pork under the pickled stuff.
  • Cod (or cuttlefish)
    Cod (or cuttlefish), the chef did an awesome Japanese accent (he is Japanese after all) so I couldn't tell whether he was saying cod fish, or cuttlefish (it wasn't chewy as I would expect cuttlefish to be that's why I lean towards cod), in any event, super smooth and tender, and with a splash of lemon, c'est magnifique!
  • Salmon
    Salmon, seared on one side with a blow torch (cooked sushi!), with a splash of lemon which I think is a great touch, yum!
  • Pike
    Pike, again seared with a blow torch on one side, this one eat with soy sauce.
  • Barbecue Beef
    Barbecue Beef, so tender and soft, really yummy.
  • Clam
    Clam is a bit chewy it turns out, pretty good.
  • Tuna Steak
    Tuna Steak, seared on one side again, soft and tender as expected, yum.
  • Ocean Trout
    Ocean Trout, still can't tell the difference between this and salmon, so yum!
  • Kingfish Baby
    Kingfish Baby, in the minority as uncooked sushi, yum.
  • Oyster
    Oyster, this one we thought was a bit rich, had a creamy sauce which I thought was a bit salty, the oyster was perfect though.
  • Sea Urchin
    Sea Urchin, I think it was frozen or certainly chilled, has such a strange texture, I'm not a big fan of sea urchin.
  • Mango Parfait
    Mango Parfait, tropical iced cream and fruit, I couldn't taste any mango, it had cheesecake in it, I'm still not 100% sure we got the dessert we ordered, but they did ask us if we ordered the dessert special, maybe I misheard what the special was.


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