Food and Drink


Sizzling at Shou Sumiyaki

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Tabletop cooking is what childhood dreams are made of — a wacky land at the top of the ‘Magic Faraway Tree’ where the locals walk on their hands and cook over flames inside the table. Naturally I’m drawn to the idea like a slice of Wagyu Beef to an open flame so it’s no surprise that I recently found myself back at Shou Sumiyaki.

This Japanese ‘Sumiyaki’ restaurant is nestled just inside the gates of Chinatown and is the place to go to for top quality Japanese produce and a long enjoyable dining experience. If you book ahead you can secure a private table behind rice paper screens, but for these tables you have to remove your shoes so clean socks are a must lest you want your friends to extinguish the flames with their tears.

Hungry groups tend to order an amount of food greater than or equal to their combined body weight just in case it’s not enough. Of course, my table went for the special combo menu at around $50 per person. Each person received their own portion of rice, miso soup and dipping sauce pallet. Then came the food procession.

First up were the entrees: organic cucumber and sesame miso salad, fried soft shell crab salad and the buttery salmon sashimi. Then the meat.

By this stage, however, I had left this world behind and the only words that made sense to me were ‘oyster blade’, ‘wagyu’, and ‘rib’. Each was better than the last. They only required a few moments to cook on the grill and in no time we were all nicely stuffed.

Shou Sumiyaki is a high-quality version of many tabletop cooking restaurants around Melbourne. You can expect to pay more for the quality of the food, decor and service elsewhere which is why this place is totally worth it.

Shou Sumiyaki
160 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne
9654 3933
Lunch: Tues – Sun 12pm – 3pm
Dinner: Sun – Thurs 5pm – 10pm, Fri – Sat 5pm – 12am


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