Yu-U – Dinner – Melbourne

Was in Melbourne recently and had to make a pit stop at Yu-U for dinner. We booked a week in advance for a Thursday night and when we got there, they were turning people away as they were booked out.

The first challenge was to find the place. All I can say is, Melbourne restaurants have a different vibe to Sydney (although Sydney is trying hard to copy Melbourne).

Yes, it is in the basement, although there are no outward signs telling me that.

I see a partially open door around that corner so *fingers crossed* that this is the place and I haven’t randomly walked into somewhere I shouldn’t be.

Gosh, I hope that’s the restaurant’s logo on the wall – it looks Japanese-esque so I’m pretty sure we’re at the right place.

Success! I have arrived

Unfortunately, at this point, this is where the photos stop, I’m told that they don’t allow photography inside, even though I wasn’t using the flash. Maybe it adds to the mystique of the place.

Normally, I wouldn’t post about food that I can’t photograph but for this place, it is DEFINITELY worth a visit. I had seen other people’s blogs with photos so I’m not sure if the photography policy had changed or I had a waitress who didn’t know what she was talking about.

There was an extensive menu, there was also a $60pp chef’s choice dinner selection. When we asked what was in the chef’s choice dinner, the waitress shrugged and said it was up to the chef. Not very helpful.

We figured we would just choose what we wanted & we’d end up paying less than that anyway.

They also had hand-made buckwheat noodles on the menu but that needed to ordered a day in advance – darn, I’ll give it a go next time.

They have a good selection of different types of sake (sweet potato, barley & buckwheat), a couple of Japanese beers & some plum wine. I tried some of their sake, but it’s really not for me.

The yakitori skewers were cooked in the main area in front of the bar seating so if you don’t want to smell like charcoal meat by the end of the night, I’d suggest you get a table further away. They had skewers for all parts of the chicken (skin, gibblets, liver & heart). I would strongly recommend the chicken skin skewers.

We tried so many dishes, the marinated mackerel, a salmon & avocado sashimi, silken tofu, udon, pork belly, etc. They were all really fabulous dishes and I definitely want to go back (and take sneaky shots).

The only one I wouldn’t recommend would be fried onigiri – covered in terriyaki sauce & fried on the grill – the rice that wasn’t coated with sauce was tasteless and it wasn’t fried enough so there was only a bit of a crisp outside.

Bill including drinks was <$60pp so we’re glad we didn’t go for the mystery Chef’s choice dinner menu.

The lowdown:

The good – pork belly, salmon & avocado sashimi, chicken skin skewer

The bad – fried onigiri (and I so like my onigiri)

The mediocre – service was borderline – who advertises a chef’s special and then can’t tell you what’s on it?

Details:

Yu-U

137 Flinders Lane

Melbourne VIC 3000

Tel:  (03) 9639 7073 (Bookings recommended)

Yu-U on Urbanspoon

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