We had rung to book even though we thought it surely wasn't necessary mid-week, but surprisingly it filled up very quickly. Quite possibly something to do with the lunchtime specials of $12, which include unlimited miso soup and rice.
Guess what Mr P. drank? Yep you guessed it - ginger beer ($5). I chose something more apposite - Sudachi citrus with lime and mandarin. It is based on shochu, which is a Japanese hard liquor made from grains and vegetables. It was very refreshing and citrus-y; I didn't realise till later that it was so alcoholic. (Sudachi is a Japanese citrus fruit used in cooking.)
|sudachi lime and mandarin $12|
Mr P. went for the Japanese hot dog special. The meat is tsukune - chicken meatballs which are grilled over charcoal. It is served on a Japanese bun with cabbage and mayo, along with spicy fries. Mr P. really liked this; he said it was one of the best hot dogs he had ever eaten. But come to think of it, I don't think he has eaten many in his life:=) Not sure what makes the bun Japanese but it was fresh and soft. Perhaps it was a Japanese milk bun which is made with a roux starter, and is very light and airy (thus says Google).
|tsukune dog $12|
I had karaage don with wasabi mayo, served on tare rice with pickles, and a cup of miso soup accompanying it. FYI tare is a sweetened, thickened soy sauce flavoured with dashi, vinegar etc. This was a wonderful dish. Simple, quick and so tasty. The fried chicken was tender and had a crunchy golden batter. The rice was flavourful, and there was a crispy seaweed garnish that added a great little extra texture to the dish.
|I loved this karaage don $12|
|unlimited miso soup comes with the lunch specials|
Mr P. and I agreed this was the best miso soup we had ever had. Rather than coming out of a packet, it actually tasted fresh and real with delicious silken tofu. And the colour is a beautiful pale yellow unlike that weird brown stuff you get from the sachets.
|delicious as you can see! all gone|
The crockery is really lovely; thick earthenware that suits the style of food. And I really loved the cute little wooden spoon that came with my meal to scoop up the rice.
|actioning the yakitori grill|
|Japanese beer on tap|
|love this mural|
It is a rare occasion when Mr P. and I say let's try this place again soon, but we both said it last week. We enjoyed sitting right at the counter, watching the chef giving the meats a good grilling. This chef was so on the ball, it was a pleasure to listen to him revving up the staff - in the nicest possible way - making sure that everybody knew what was what.
Bird's Nest does dinner every night, and also caters for functions and group dining. If you are after some fresh and flavoursome Japanese dishes, this is the place for you. You can try some Japanese beers and cocktails too.
Shop 5/220 Melbourne St.,
Ph: 07 3844 4306