Working in the heart of the city, inconspicuously disguised as a 'suit' during the week, I'm grateful that I'm surrounded by a number of reliable places to have lunch at or take away when I'm under the pump. Being in the city, I try to keep my expenses to a minimum so I can indulge in fabulous food during the weekend. One of my go-to places that I can always expect a good meal for under $10 is Sushi Monger. If you head there during peak lunch hours, you can easily spot it out by the long line of people queuing up outside.
Most recently, I have been quite enamoured with the Salmon Chirashi Rice. With a mix of Salmon sashimi, Seaweed Salad, Tamago (Egg) rolls, Mushrooms, Inari and salad on top of a bed of seasoned rice, it is not a large portion and only just fills me up but doesn't leave me feeling bloated and suffering carb-coma aftereffects. The Salmon sashimi is fresh and almost melts in your mouth.
I decided to mix it up once and ordered the Mix Chirashi Rice which included both Salmon and Tuna Sashimi. I went around 3pm so I'm not sure if it was because I came late or it's like this normally, but I only had 2 cubes of Tuna Sashimi and the rest was Salmon. It worked to my advantage though, as the Tuna Sashimi did not possess the same melt in mouth quality.
Another dish that I regularly order when I'm in the mood for waiting is the Chicken Katsu bento box. The Chicken is hot and tender covered in a crunchy batter that goes well with the katsu sauce and kewpie mayonnaise. On the side compartments of the bento box are seaweed salad, a springroll with sweet chilli sauce and a mixed salad. It is a very filling and satisfying meal.
They also offer a great Sushi Roll combo which is great on the wallet. 2 Sushi Rolls with Miso soup goes for $5, an extra roll totals it up to $6.80. Considering these rolls are filled with firm, well-seasoned rice, good filling ratio and freshly rolled, I can never go past Sushi Monger. I once tried Sushi Sushi on a whim and after the first few bites, the difference in Sushi Monger's quality in comparison to Sushi Sushi's quantity > quality was noticeable.
I know a lot of my friends cannot go past Sushi Monger for a quick, good valued Japanese lunch and I agree. The guy who takes your order is always friendly (the former temporary guy was an absolute grinch i tell you!) and food is generally served in a timely manner. You will most likely leave reeking of food but at least you've had a good feed.
Will I return? Yes, I always come here whenever I am craving Japanese.
17/309 Bourke Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
(03) 9663 0899