Saturday, November 03, 2012

Shira Nui - Simple Sushi Exectued Brilliantly

Shira Nui has been a favourite of many people for their wonderful sushi. I have to add myself to that list of admirers and say that chef Hiro Nishikura's sushi is some of the best in Melbourne. The restaurant is very basic, with a small rectangular space dominated by the sushi bar. For my money, the sushi bar is the place to be, where all the action is happening and full of vibrant energy. It's a joy to watch Hiro and his team make the sushi and delivery it straight to you. Hiro will then give you his famous "sauce" or "no sauce" orders, indicating whether the sushi is best enjoyed with soy sauce or without.

My friends and I dutifully follow Hiro's orders, and laugh a bit with him as it's all part of the fun. We decided to do the full sushi degustation, and even added a few extra courses. With each type of sushi, you get two pieces on a plate to enjoy.

We start off with some Cod Sushi, was was excellent with the crunch of some fish eggs.

My favourite sushi would probably be the signature Seared Salmon Sushi. The blow torch adds such an amazing flavour and the fish literally melts in your mouth. So simple but yet so wonderful.

Mackerel and BBQ Beef sushi follow up next. Again, just such wonderful flavours from something so simple. I guess the key is in the quality ingredients. The rice is also perfect, at least according to my amateur views of sushi rice. It's nicely defined rice pieces and just the right amount of vinegar.

The Arc Shell sushi was a bit slimey for me but still had good flavour. I'd probably skip this next time. The Tuna sushi though, was anything but slimey. Smooth beautifully seared tuna was so delicious. I normally find tuna a bit flavourless but I must have been eating the bad stuff as this was beautiful.

Ocean Trout and Kingfish Belly sushi yet again provide more different flavours of freshness and I loved it. We finished off our meal with two extra types, Scallops and Oysters. Both were served in vertical nori rolls and again really good.

You can't finish a meal without dessert, according to my philosophy in life, and the simple Green Tea Creme Brulee was excellent. I was really surprised with how great the sesame ice cream salad was too.

Overall, it was such a wonderful sushi meal. Just simple dishes but yet each tasted so distinctive and really tantalised the tastebuds. The service was very polite and efficient and being at the bar able to communicate with the chefs to let them know what you wanted to try was great. I like the cosy atmosphere in the room and it would make a good location for meals with friends or family. I highly recommend you get yourself there if you want to enjoy great sushi.

Overall Rating: 16/20, Wonderful sushi in a cosy environment.

Scores: 1-9: Unacceptable, don't bother. 10-11: Just OK,some shortcomings. 12: Fair. 13: Getting there. 14: Recommended. 15: Good. 16: Really good. 17: Truly excellent. 18: An outstanding experience. 19-20:Approaching perfection, Victoria's best.

Shira Nui on Urbanspoon


  1. Love Shira Nui and Hiro's skill, the closest the average Melbournian will ever get to Jiro's Michelin-starred restaurant in Tokyo: (Jiro dreams of sushi)

  2. Shira Nui :) Everyone keeps talking about it and my BF has been bugging me about taking him... but I've been pushing him back oops!

    I really need to go soon though, the sushi looks delicious and the CREME BRULEE!!! LOL maybe I'll just go for the green tea creme brulee that works too right? :P

  3. Oh man! I still haven't been and I'm dying to go!

  4. I want to go tooooo. Oh, I sense a Dastardly date coming on..

  5. Theragingcook - Thanks for that link.

    Daisy - you gotta go. The sushi and creme brulee are awesome.

    I-Hua - go go go.

    Agnes - go go go.

  6. I wanna go. what do you recommend the students eat for lunch?

    1. Sally, they do a lunch sushi platter that's really nice. I'd recommend that.