Kenzan @ GPO
A Little Touch of Japan at Kenzan!
Review by Monica
Although Melbourne boasts myriads of Japanese eateries, Kenzan seems to have built a following of patrons who want more than a California roll stuffed in a small square paper bag for lunch on the go. Since it opened its doors a little over two years ago as the sister of Kenzan at Collins Place, this bistroesque abode at Melbourne's GPO on Bourke Street seats 80, either on stools at the bar or at long wooden tables outside.
Sushi chef Kentaro Usami effortlessly works his craft with the knife as he prepares both sushi and sashimi. Nagoya-born Usami works at Kenzan by day and its fine dining counterpart on Collins Place by night. His way with the knife is melodic and sincere as he approaches each fresh fish variety with the utmost care and patience.
The entree sashimi platter ($14) is presented on a rectangular plate and garnished with grated daikon (radish) and carrot. Three fish varieties are strategically placed along the dish: three pieces each of salmon, tuna and a white fish that has been delicately seared on the edges. Quality over quantity appears the norm at any Japanese eatery, and although nine pieces of raw fish may not satisfy a grumbling tum, each piece should be eaten slowly in order to appreciate the 'melt-in-the-mouth' experience.
The 'do-it-yourself' handroll is wrapped in clear cellophane with printed instructions; a simple peel, roll, peel and roll some more produces a near-perfect handroll that is moist inside and encased with crisp seaweed.
Kenzan offers the added bonus of refillable green or oolong teas for those dining in, as well as an extensive menu of hot dishes including: tempura prawns and vegetables ($15), udon, soba or ramen noodle soups served with generous amounts of fresh ingredients and not the canned varieties ($9-$17).
Rain or shine, Kenzan @ GPO is another tucked away eatery for a satisfying lunch that is genuinely tasty and leaves you nibbling at the last piece of sashimi in the hope that it won't disappear.
Where: Kenzan @ GPO, 350 Bourke Street, Melbourne 3000 VIC,
Open: Mon-Sat 11am-5pm; Thurs-Fri 5pm-9.30pm
Wine: Licensed. Wine is available by the glass.
❊ Address & Contact ❊
⊜ Shop 28G, 350 Bourke Street, Melbourne | Map
✆ (03) 9663 7767
❊ Web Links ❊
→ Kenzan @ GPO
→ Book Table Online
→ Review by Monica
→ Disclaimer: Check with the venue before making plans...
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