“Still or sparkling?” is the standard question at restaurants when you sit down. But at Saké underneath Melbourne’s Arts Centre the question is “Wine or saké?”. This is one Japanese restaurant which prides itself in getting diners to try its namesake drink.
I was invited to try out dinner at Saké along with Meat-and-Three-Veg this Saturday night. Melbourne looked pretty fabulous from our window table looking over the Yarra making this a great restaurant to take someone from out of town or just someone you want to impress.
There are traditional Japanese dishes on offer but the dishes that really stood out for me were those which drew influences from around the world. For example, the kingfish jalapeno ($22) showed off top quality sashimi grade fish but it was made even more interesting by a zingy yuzu dressing and pieces of spicy jalapeno.
More standard dishes are available like a decent chicken teriyaki ($29) made with a whole chicken breast and leg sliced thickly. It was a generous serve but didn’t wow in the same way as the Patagonian tooth fish ($20).
Saké sources the fish sustainably and marinates it in miso before grilling. Served on lettuce cups the fish was buttery soft but had a real depth of flavour.
Dessert is not always a strong point at Japanese restaurants, but after trying out Saké’s entire dessert list in the form of the dessert platter ($36) I can report that you can skip the platter and head straight to the green tea churros ($12). These Spanish doughnuts work really well with a sprinkling of sugar and green tea giving them a Japanese edge.
And if you decide to go for the sake I recommend a lighter sake like the Kozaemon Honjozo Kyoukai #7 Koubo Dry ($6.50 a glass) which is really crisp and dry. Forget the still or sparkling…
Gourmet Chick was invited to review Saké. I have also eaten there previously where I visited anonymously and paid for my own meal.
Details: Saké, Hamer Hall, Arts Centre Melbourne/100 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne VIC 3004 (Ph 03 8687 0775)
Damage: Pricey. But on this occasion I did not pay.