Saturday, June 2, 2012

Japan Club dinner at Izakaya Hachibeh

Last night I went out for dinner with the RMIT Japan Club. Here I went to a place called Izakaya Hachibeh, rated as a cheap eat in 2011 by the Age. It is a typical Japanese place possibly run by Chinese. It is more of a tapas style bar but they do some meals as well
It was a cold winters night in Melbourne and the first day of June.
The place was dark, dingy and really warm. It was too warm in fact which makes me think that their food in summer would be really bad. Some of the decor really needs to be replaced as it looks like an underground bar in Chinatown. It should have warned me to stay away. And we are not in China town. In fact we are in the prestigious Bourke st, hence it is no excuse for worn carpetry and really cheap furniture.

Here you can watch them make sushi and sashimi

The bottles of sake

I have no idea what these are but they faired really well

The prawns which were very expensive. They were so small that I thought that these were dumplings.

The service was a little too quick; hence I thought that the food we ordered was not fresh.
We sampled:
Chirashi don ($19.00)- the fish was not cold and was a little irky for my liking. For $19 I would have thought that they would have chose better and fresher fish. The rice was really heavily vinegared and was too warm for my liking .There was not enough vegetables. And where was the bean-curd skins? I couldn't fault the eggs though.
The seaweed salad- this also was not fresh and tasted like Jellyfish. Seaweed should be soft and fresh and it has to melt in the mouth.
The Katsu don- it tasted more like chicken rather than pork and it was way overcooked. In fact the egg melted on the meat. The girls didn't like this, hence they didn't finish.
The Onako don- I loved the terriyaki chicken, but then I don't think they liked this either. They didn't finish it.
The Agedashi tofu (and mind you I agree with Adriennely) was the worst ever for $7.10. It was small and there was no bonito flakes. For that price I would have gotten bigger pieces of tofu and and bonito and garnishes.
The wasabi prawns were a bit small for $7.10. At Laksa King I would have gotten these for $19 and a lot bigger serve. Mind you the ones at Laksa King were tastier and fresher than these.
I loved the chicken skewers and the fried chicken though.
Did not like the yaki soba. When it came out five minutes after we ordered, I thought it was microwaved and not very fresh for my liking. With yakisoba it is fried and prepared on the spot.
Sorry Izakaya, I gave you a go and found you to be more like a suburban restaurant than a city one. The city ones always have higher expectations and have really outstanding food and drink. The 20 of us also ordered drinks, some of which looked really good and authentic. But my pot of green tea was meh at $3 a pop. But was it worth the $310 price tag at the end which we all had to pay? No. I don't think I'll ever give you another chance seeing as you have been around for a while. Maybe only just for the drinks and maybe the Ladies bento (which by the way is only a weekday lunch special)
I'd advise others to stay away. I don't know why they got such positive things on Urbanspoon about this place.
Izakaya Hachibeh on Urbanspoon


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