My boyfriend and I went out to celebrate our first day of holidays with lunch and a movie. I was feeling “Japanesey” but we didn’t want to go to the regular places where we just order tempura or something of that mix. We decided to resort to my favourite foodie blog Melbourne Gastronome, randomly chose a letter and picked the most interesting sounding restaurant which was around the area… Izakaya Den.
I absolutely loved it! The fact that it took us 20 minutes, having walked past it at least 3 times to find the place made it more appealing. Haha! We walked down these steps which opened up to a trendy underground world. On the right there was a Commes des Garcons (which looked like a gallery!) and on the left an entrance concealed by a black curtain. We tentatively entered and were amazed what was behind.. long hall-like set out with the kitchen and bar close to the patrons.
It is a relatively new business – 13 months old. The staff were absolutely lovely — recognising our looks of confusion when it came to ordering and explained all the dishes when they presented them to us. The menu was projected on the wall and the drinks menu was in a scroll form – Japanese on one side and English on the other.
I was very excited when our water came in these Yoshitomo Nara glasses and wanted to take them home ^^;; We both ordered the same lunch set (housemade tofu, sashimi, miso, pickles & rice) but with different main dishes. I had the spicy tuna tataki which was mindblowing good! I don’t like raw food but this has changed my mind and it was deceivingly filling. My boyfriend had grilled white asparagus, crispy wonton & mizuna salad which he was very happy with. The asparagus was amazing – crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.
They also take part in the StreetSmart Campaign which is raising money for the homeless, which I think is an excellent campaign. Each table is charged an extra $2 on their bill which will go to StreetSmart (you can donate more if you want!). I definitely will be going again– maybe for dinner!
The movie we saw was Harry Potter which was okay. The acting and effects were definitely better than the previous movies, however it went for a while and I started to forget what the point of everything was ^^;; My boyfriend who hasn’t read the novels was kind of bored :p