Izakaya Den (Melbourne CBD, VIC)

We were hoping for a meal of Japanese while in Melbourne, took the suggestion of Yelp and Urbanspoon, and ended up at Izakaya Den.  I wouldn't say I regretted my choice, but I probably should have taken the advice of one of my friends for a place with sashimi and substantial food.  Hidden down a narrow flight of stairs, Izakaya Den is a bit like a den with its cold, yet cozy interior.

We didn't end up drinking anything throughout our meal, which I slightly regretted, since that is precisely what you do at an izakaya place.  Either way, it was the middle of the day, so we weren't too keen.  What we did get were baked scallops with a ginger garnish of some sort.  The scallops were a delicious texture, just how scallops how should be, but the highlight was really the garnish on the side! We also went for the tuna tartare, which was alright in texture.  Again, the highlight was the sauce.  I should have gone for the tuna tataki, which seems to be the more popular dish.

We also had the fish of the day (which I can't remember what), and that was really tender and baked perfectly.  It wasn't salmon, though that's what it looks kinda like in the picture.  The pickled daikon on the side was my favorite part of the dish - but the fish was also really delicious.  It wasn't one bit fishy, and the meat just fell apart perfectly!  The lamb skewers were also good, though I don't think I would order this again if I returned.  They were slightly dry, and didn't taste much like lamb.

At the end of our meal, they gave us complimentary house-made marshmallows!  They were fluffy, not overly sweet, and quite yummy!  Our next visit was Le Petit Gateau, so we didn't go for dessert...

Though the food was just average to above average, the service was really friendly and attentive.  They even hung our coats on coat racks for us! Truly Japanese. =)
Baked Scallop
Baked fish with pickled daikon
Tuna Tartare
Lamb Skewers
House-made marshmallows!
Price: 20AUD+/person | $$$ (with drinks)
Rating: 4/5
Tips: reservations only available for lunch

Izakaya Den (Website)
114 Russel St.
Melbourne, VIC 3000
#: (03) 9654-2977
Izakaya Den on Urbanspoon


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