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Monday, January 21, 2013

Ibuki House - Underground Restaurant Dining

Every once in a while, there is talk of the underground restaurant dining scene and how it will break out and become big business. There is Melbourne's Secret Dining Society, and previously there was buzz about Zingara Cucina. There's also underground dining overseas.

For those in the know though, they would laugh at all the talk of underground dining while happily eating their sashimi in the garage of Ibuki House restaurant. Friends of mine have gone to Ibuki House for many years before they moved to a restaurant in the city and then moved back to their Bentleigh East location. Basically, the restaurant is held in the renovated garage of the chef/owner and the room probably holds about 30 people. It's definitely pretty cramped but I guess you don't go there for the space.

The way the meal works at Ibuki is you get served a banquet meal, which cost about $80 depending on produce costs. The banquet, a perfect description, is epic. There is so much food that by course 3 you'll already be wanting to roll home.

The meal starts off with the table laid out with so much sushi and sashimi that you totally start salivating. There's lots of different types of nigiri sushi, and depending on how many people, a massive boat of sashimi. The sashimi has many varieties, even including lobster, abalone and yabbies. I liked most of the sashimi and especially loved the lobster and abalone.

The next few courses are also heavily seafood based. There's oysters with smoke salmon, chawan mushi and scallops with crab and bacon. I liked all the dishes as they were all tasty and well executed.

The seafood extravaganza keeps going with a seafood soup. The soup is served in a paper which is kept warm by a tea light. The broth is nice and the seafood in the soup is ok. Following the soup is the tempura of prawns and vegetables. The tempura is well done but this is the part of the meal that I really hated. The small kitchen in the enclosed garage meant that when they were frying the tempura, there was so much smoke in the room and it got really smelly and actually my eyes starting to sting badly. I'd rather they removed this item from the menu or cook it outside as the room became extremely uncomfortable to sit in the room.

The savoury courses ended with a beef sukiyaki. This dish was nice but was quite oily and fatty too.

After such a large meal, the simple dessert help to revive me. Nice green tea ice cream is served with a strawberry jelly and some fruit. A good clean end to the meal.

The ambiance in the room will vary greatly depending on who's there. I went with a large group of friends so it was really good and buzzing all night. The service from the staff was good and efficient. The restaurant does have a liquor license and you can order various drinks to go with your meal. Overall I enjoyed the meal. The most impressive part was the sashimi boat. Everything else was good without being amazing. I think the meal is worth the price and would recommend it.

For another opinion on Ibuki House, check out Winston's review.

Ibuki House Restaurant on Urbanspoon

14 comments:

  1. What a fantastic roundup, my friend. Reading this really brings back memories and is really giving me the itch to want to come back. Just to see how those guys are doing, for old time's sakes and yes of course, the food. That first course is astounding and could not get any better huh. Seriously great place to come to with a group of friends/family! So private and intimate.

    What I love most about this place is how we all heard about it by word of mouth. Thankful to have a space to share the meal on the interwebz. Hey let's go for Jap for our next meal! Thanks for the mention yah! =D

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    1. It is definitely a different dining experience. And it's amazing how word of mouth can keep a place going.

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  2. Waaaaaah so much sashimi *_______* <3

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  3. OMG that sashimi!!!! It looks SOOOO good!

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    1. The sashimi part was really nice.

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  4. Eeek so much food! Looks so good though.

    Shame about the smoke from the tempura frying - I hate being stuck in a smoke filled room.

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    1. Food overload. The smoke was definitely a bit too much to sit comfortably.

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  5. gah, shame about the smoke from the tempura! At least the sushi and sashimi was good!

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    1. Yeah smoke not good but sashimi was good.

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  6. Looks like heaps of food! And so many different types of sashimi. Excuse me while I wipe the drool off my keyboard :)

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    1. Soon you'll be able to eat sashimi again.

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  7. Man I still want to go here.. can you organise another trip for us?

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    1. Must try to organise a meal here.

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