Food and Drink
Posted by Dan Kuseta
21. Mar, 2011
In terms of fusion cuisine, sushi and hamburgers aren’t two foods that immediately spring to mind, but that hasn’t stopped J Cafe from giving it a red hot go. With a display cabinet filled with models of the burgers of offer, the cafe claims it enables customers “to enjoy the fresh taste of Japan in a unique style”.
Two rice balls are shaped liked ‘buns’ and instead of two-all-beef-patties fillings include soft shell crab, prawn tempura and teriyaki eel with cucumber. We go for the sushi burger box ($17.50) which gets us miso soup, main and a burger. I go for Gyu Tataki (thinly sliced raw beef) and, keeping with the uncooked theme, the Spicy Raw Salmon Burger. My fellow burger tester opts for the Prawn Gyoza and Kani Croquette Burger (cream croquette with crab meat).
The miso arrives first, steaming hot and hearty. A good start. Then the mains, both in generous serves. The Gyu Tataki is excellent, super fresh and nicely finished with an accompanying dob of sweet soy. The gyoza are lightly fried and plump, served with an assortment of sliced cucumber, tomato and lemon that provides a crisp balance to the meal. Both mains are first rate, then the burger arrives.
Served in a bento box with a side of pickled ginger and cucumber, my burger looks more like salmon with a rice hat than a filet-o-fish, but I’ll go with it. The rice does a good job doubling as the bun, the salmon is spicy and it all works pretty well, at least for the few bites it lasts. And that, I suspect, is the problem with the sushi burger. I’m used to lingering over Japanese food, appreciating the nuances of the delicate flavors, but in a burger it’s all over in a few flurried bites. Then again, maybe I’m just a greedy guts.
Either way the quality of the food at J Cafe is top notch. I suggest a visit to make your own mind up.
167 Exhibition St, Melbourne 3000
Tues – Sat lunch from 12pm – 3pm, dinner from 5.3opm – 9.30pm