Japanese lunch set menus: Akachochin & Shoya

Family lunch was initiated a couple of weeks ago when my sister messaged me if I was free for lunch which eventually led to the rest of the family joining us, well, with the exception of my younger brother who was in school hah. Akachochin is a Japanese restaurant in Paul Mathis powerhouse group which is located in South Wharf. Akachochin offers a set menu lunch at a great price of $20.

Between the two menu options, they both came with a bowl of rice, seasonal marinated vegetables in dashi stock and choice of salmon or kingfish sashimi. Option one also had a bowl of miso soup and a choice of mains to accompany.

Lunch menu

We all ordered a variety of dishes between us so that we could try majority of the menu. The grilled chicken with spicy teriyaki sauce was the favourite of the table as the meat was tender.

The pork belly was equally as good with little rivers of fat although it wasn't as tender as the chicken. I enjoyed it with slices of king oyster mushrooms and the sauce, while sweet and salty with a kick of spice to it. The salmon sashimi was lucious and very fresh while the kingfish was more firm in texture.

The crumbed fish came with a tangy tartare sauce and while I didn't have a taste, everyone seemed to enjoy it.

Instead of a choice of main, option two was a bowl of soba noodles with chicken in a bonito broth. Both my dad and SIL opted for option two to which they found the bonito broth was very salty.

Service was very spotty during our lunch. Although our waitress was very friendly and helpful, it was the service from the floor manager (we assumed he was since his uniform was different) which was a fail. I had called in the previous day to amend the time of booking and number of people which he neglected to take note of so there was some confusion when we first arrived; we constantly had to ask for water refills during our meal; the ordering process was long-winded and laboured having to have to clarify numerous times and when we enquired about how much longer the food would take, we had to track him down again to get our answer. I questioned what the rest of the family members thought about the service and they all agreed that service was a disaster.

For the value, I think it is good for the price and quality although for an extra $4.80, I think it's extremely hard to beat Shoya's lunch set menu which I had the following week.

Food: 7.5/10
Service: 5/10
Value: 7/10 at $20
Will I return? Yes

33 Dukes Walk
South Wharf VIC 3006
(03) 9245 9900

Tues to Sun midday - midnight

Akachochin on Urbanspoon

A week later, my sister and I met again for lunch at Shoya which I have posted about previously here. With seven available lunch sets ranging from the $24.80 Kaisen Chirashi set (which we had that day) to the more luxe $65 business lunch set, you will find one to suit your tastes and budget. We both opted for the Kaisen Chirashi lunch set - it consists of more than enough food to fill me so anything more would be a waste.

We started our meal with 3 small appetisers - some blanched greens, chilled bean curd in a gingery soy sauce which I found slightly too salty however we both loved the chawanmushi and savoured every spoonful of the silky egg custard.



Greens and mushrooms

The chirashi sushi was loaded with a variety of sashimi and my favourite pieces were the salmon, kingfish and tuna for the tenderness of the fish. The amount of sashimi was substantial to the rice so you are definitely getting great value.

Chirashi sushi

The udon noodles were great as usual with the noodles being bouncy, not too soft nor firm and the broth was hearty topped seaweed and spring onions.

 Udon noodles

As always, the green tea ice cream was refreshing on the palate and the perfect sweet finishing touch to end our meal. I remember back in the days when green tea ice cream was a rarity but now it's a must have to finish any Japanese meal, that or black sesame ice cream. Mmmmm.

Green tea ice cream

Our meal was satisfying and extremely filling however there were times when I felt that the service was absent. Shoya is my go-to spot for a Japanese lunch and it is amazing value for all the food you get. I enjoyed my meal at Akachochin as well and although the service was not too great, I could see myself coming back. Overall, I feel like Shoya trumps Akachochin in all aspects - food, value, service and easy pronunciation.

Food: 8/10
Service: 7.5/10
Value: 9/10 at $24.80
Will I return? Yes, I have been here many times and keep coming back for the great value lunch sets.

25 Market Lane
Melbourne VIC 3000
(03) 9650 0848

Lunch: Mon to Sun: midday - 2:30pm
Dinner: Sun to Thur: 6:00pm - 10:30pm & Fri to Sat 6:00pm - 11:00pm

Shoya Nouvelle Wafu Cuisine on Urbanspoon


  1. I'm new to your blog, and new to Melbourne so will be using it to slowly eat my way around the city! Fun, and informative posts! Thx

    1. Welcome to our fab city! I can see you're from Perth :) Hope you get to try all the great restaurants in our little city!

  2. A shame that service wasn't that great at Akochochin because last time I went I thought it was alright...I don't like it when places don't place enough staff during lunch time service :( But for $20 it is pretty good value.

    Oh oh oh Never heard of Shoya and I'll happily pay $4.80 if it means there's green tea ice-cream waakkaka

    1. Haha hell yeah, green tea ice cream to finish japanese is always the best! :) It was super busy during lunch time so they definitely need more staff!

    2. Big restaurants don't care about new customers since they have their exclusive regular customers.

  3. Whoa man, I love 'em both. Akachochin I've only been for a drink and nibble before dinner at Sharing House, whilst Shoya only for lunch whilst I still worked at Lonsdale St til I went down to the "arse" end of town. Man got sashimi cravings right now dude! :D

    1. I must give Akachochin a try during dinner but I hope the service is better. I'm craving sashimi now as well haha mmmm

  4. Shoya do a good lunch set and I was thrilled to hear that Akachochin also do a similar deal because I'd been there for pre-dinner nibbles (with Dave, above!) and liked it. So disappointed to hear that the service sucked during lunch and some of the dishes weren't even that good. But then again, $20 seems pretty reasonable still!

    1. Shoya is the best for great value, although Akachochin is soo far for me. $20 is very reasonable so I'll probably be back, although I want to try during dinner :)

    2. Yeah, the service is pretty good during dinner... but then again, we WERE there really early and there was only one other occupied table haha.

    3. Lol that would make sense seeing as the place was so full for lunch!

  5. $20 for that lunch set! Akachochin is such a good addition to the melbourne food scene, so dominated by overpriced tapas. The shoya lunch set looks amazing (not that anyone would expect otherwise), but I'm not sure I'd pay $65 for it... maybe if someone else paid for me :p

    1. Oh no, we only paid $24.80 for the Shoya set so you can see the comparison as the price is very similar :) The $64 shoya set would most likely have soo much food!!

  6. I Love Shoya for their lunch set! I used to work near there so i was able to go there to have lunch.

    Akachochin, I've been their for dinner, but it was a disappointment to me :( Maybe I should visit for lunch next time!

    1. Aww too bad you moved further away otherwise we could have lunched there! I'll probably give their dinner a try but not soon, I have too many places I want to try hehe


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