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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Shira Nui

So I have been coming to Shira Nui or over a decade now from when my dad first took the family here for lunch on the weekend. Shira Nui is hidden along the busy Springvale Road in Glen Waverley and often overlooked by those not in the know but highly rated by locals. I consider Shira Nui to be the best Japanese restaurant in the area and still haven't come across anything better. They have previously had one hats on and off during the past years but they are always in The Age Good Food guide. They offer an a la carte menu but the best thing about Shira Nui is their 'omakase' menu in which you basically leave your meal in the hands of the very capable chef, Hiro Nishikura. They will feed you with a variety of nigiri until you are stuffed and wave the white flag - or just tell them you've had enough.

On arrival, a small dish of fried fish with pickled onions and capsicum sit waiting to whet you appetite. We inform our waitress of any allergies or dislikes. A couple don't like the oyster, I don't like the eel (unagi) and everyone doesn't like the mackerel. We are picky but this is the best way to ensure you enjoy every dish.

Starter

We start off with cod with salt and lemon. The fish was firm and went wonderfully with the sour and salty seasoning.
Cod with salt and lemon

The seared salmon was seasoned with a combination of spices which made it delectable and just slightly seared on top so that underneath it remained raw.

Seared salmon

The bonito fish had a slightly fishy taste but still good as it was fresh. One piece was seared to leave a crispy skin while the other remained mostly raw which was a good contrast.

Bonito

Although the beef wasn't wagyu or anything in that calibre, the sweet caramelised barbecue flavour of the beef was delicious, especially so when the beef melted in our mouths.

Seared beef

The ark shell had a subtle sweetness to it and the texture was firm with a definite bite to it.

Ark shell

The tuna steak was seared around the edges but remained mostly raw and fell apart easily in our mouths. The flavour of the sauce was also similar to the sweet caramelised barbecue sauce.

Tuna steak

Although there wasn't toro (fatty tuna belly) in that night, the ocean trout was easily an excellent replacement. The ocean trout had rivers of fat very similar to toro and was torched briefly so it literally just melted in our mouths.

Fatty ocean trout

The kingfish was firm and very fresh. The sauce was like a light sweet soy sauce which went well with it.

Kingfish

This was a replacement for those who didn't want the oyster dish - the scallops were diced up and covered in a caramelised savoury sauce and topped with spring onions.

Scallop

We always wait in anticipation for the oyster nigiri and albeit, they were on the smaller size this time, they were creamy, cheesy and 100% delicious.

Oyster

When we asked for the bill, we were served these petite desserts complimentary of the chef. It was a granita with cubes of fruit - intensely sweet but very refreshing.

Complimentary dessert

Throughout our meal, we sipped on sake and iced lemon teas. The others drank wine and oolong tea.

Sake

Iced lemon tea

Hiro tells us that his daughter can eat a whooping total of 36 nigiris in a sitting but as she gets older, the less she eats. I feel a bit jealous of his daughter being able to eat this whenever she pleases.

Chef Hiro with the other chef preparing nigiri

The unassuming store front

Shira Nui is consistently good and I can always satisfy my cravings here. It is a high price to pay as we usually spend a minimum of $100 per person but it is worth every cent. After dinner, we forewent the usual green tea/black sesame creme brulee desserts they offer and headed over to Dessert Story. The green tea ice with red bean and chocolate sauce is very tasty. The green tea ice is more like a light green tea ice cream and not creamy at all which I like and will come back for. It's nice to stay local sometimes and it's even better when you have restaurants like Shira Nui to call your local.

Dessert story - Green tea ice with red bean and chocolate

Food: 8.5/10
Service: 8.5/10
Value: 7/10
Will I return? Yes, I have been coming here for 10 years and won't stop, even if I move out of the area.

Shira Nui
247 Springvale Road
Glen Waverley VIC 3150
(03) 9886 7755

Shira Nui on Urbanspoon

10 thoughts:

  1. I love having Shira Nui as my local as well! We still haven't done the omakase though...

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    1. Gosh Em, I like the a la carte menu at Shira Nui but the omakase is fantastic!

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  2. I'M GOING FOR THE OMAKASE TOMORROW AND I AM MEGA EXCITED. Your photos look beautiful, how much would it come to per person for the omakase if you don't have drinks?

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    Replies
    1. Hehe oh good timing Ming!! Well the price really depends on how much you eat as you can tell them you've had enough or not. That meal was $527 for 6 people but then, one person was only having 1 nigiri piece per dish so obviously that would make the total cheaper. Generally, it ends up being $120 per person but that includes 1 drink and a dessert to share - so I estimate probably $100 pp :) Hope you enjoy your meal!!

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  3. I have heard of SO MANY good things about Shira Nui and have been meaning to bring Mr Bao here because he loves his Japanese food :) But lol I'm not really the biggest fan, I use to think I liked japanese food, but now I think I'm more into Thai and Korean with more spice and strong flavours ~

    But then and again...now that you've said...it and recommended it and have been coming here for 10 years....I think I'm gonna have to get my butt down there soon ;)

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    Replies
    1. Haha ever since coming back from Korean, I am liking Korean more these days but I still love sashimi. Hopefully you enjoy Shira Nui if you end up taking Mr Bao!

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  4. Love Shira Nui, especially their panfried salmon and seared tuna sushi. I wish Hiro were immortal and never retired lol!

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    1. ... I've never ever actually thought about Shira Nui without Hiro. OMG :(

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  5. Love Shira Nui... it's not my local (seeing that I live in Perth) but it's where I have dinner on the day I arrive in Melbourne everytime!

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    Replies
    1. Wow! That's commitment but I totally understand why :)

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Thanks for your comments!

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