Melbourne (Glen Waverley) - Shira Nui - BYO and LIC

Impressions of restaurants home and abroad.

Melbourne (Glen Waverley) - Shira Nui - BYO and LIC

Postby mf » Sun Aug 23, 2009 2:05 pm

Before reading the below review I should note that Japanese is my favourite kind of food and the below relates to having the Omakase menu at the bar (eating normally in the restaurant is still very good but would be hard to go back to after having the Omakase). I would also note Shira Nui is more about the food than anything else.

Cuisine: Japanese

Service: Pretty Good (7/10). Friendly but not always quick and don't do the little things all the time like filling glasses (not that I care about that much). Sitting at the bar for the omakase also means your food is served directly to you by the sushi chefs which gives added value to the service (as well as novelty).

Food: Excellent (9.5/10) - Novelty value may have had an impact for me but I don't remember a meal I have enjoyed more (anywhere). In this case omakase was the sushi chefs choosing approximately 9 courses of sushi of their choice (2 pieces each time). You can tell them if there is anything you don't like (or can't eat) and can also continue on if you want more food. The ten dishes we received, including one piece complimentary, were (some were more complex than listed below but I can't remember all the details):

- A snapper sushi with lemon and salt (very good)
- A pan fried salmon sushi (excellent)
- A mackerel and seaweed sushi (excellent)
- A thinly cut beef sushi (excellent)
- An ark shell sushi (very good) - this was my least favourite due to not being my favourite fish but the quality was still very good.
- A seared tuna sushi (very good)
- A cooked and uncooked kingfish sushi (very good to excellent)
- A cod roe sushi (surprisingly very good)
- An oyster and mayonnaise sushi (surprisingly excellent)
- A complimentary eel sushi (very good to excellent)

The desserts were also pretty good but not really the focus. I have eaten at a normal table before (where you can get all your other non sushi Japanese food) and would still say the food is very good but as mentioned it will be hard to go back to eating at a table rather than eating sushi at the bar.

Value: Hard to evaluate this one. The omakase (just the sushi) was about $80 a head and therefore by everyday standards I could only say the value was pretty good. However, given the quality of the food from a personal perspective I would say the value is very good to excellent (especially factoring in the ability to BYO). Sitting at a table I would say the value is very good.

Ambience: Pretty to very good (7.5/10) - the restaurant is pretty simple and small (seats about 40) with no music and not too noisy, however sitting at the bar adds quite a lot to the ambience as you watch the sushi chefs prepare your meal. Also helped the head chef was in a very friendly and happy mood, which added to the ambience.

Glassware: Poor to average. As mentioned this place I think is mainly about the food but they could have better glassware (unless they have something better hidden elsewhere).

Wine list: Did not look at but would think that you are best to BYO. From what I remember it is very short.

BYO Details: $3 a head any night

Offline Prospect: Pretty to very good but would not be able to do the omakase as you could only talk to the people either side of you. It would still work eating at a table though, although would be worth considering bringing your own glassware (and to ask if you can).

Website - don't think they have one.
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Postby Guest 389 » Sun Aug 23, 2009 5:19 pm

Good to hear they are still going strong. Been twice in the earlier days when the chef's choice menu was also stellar. I'd hear it had gone down hill but good to hear it's still on track. I hope to try it again next time I'm headed through those parts of Melbourne.
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Postby kittycat » Sun Aug 23, 2009 7:00 pm

I've had their omakase 3 times now. Twice in the last 2 months and both times were excellent. For the quality they serve up, it really is very good value for money.
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