Sunday, June 27, 2010

Uta Sushi Bar

Uta Sushi Bar
Shop 16/210 Toorak Road
(31 Chambers St)
South Yarra VIC 3141
Telephone: 03 9804 7396

Opening Hours: Tue-Thu 10am-5pm; Fri-Sat 10am-7pm; Sun-Mon Closed

'To cook like a Masterchef cooks, shop where a Masterchef shops!'

Unfortunately for Curtis, this hardly means Coles to me - especially after this debacle - but it's obvious others don't agree. Personally, I prefer lovely little groceries manned by lovely owners (with love, of course!); preferably as nondescript as possible, would fit right in wherever they're from, and hidden down lonely lanes to add to the mystique.

Enter this street.

Clearly, I'm very socialised by the Melbourne doctrine that a place must be hidden to qualify a visit. And in my discoveries I've discovered that I'm usually the last to 'discover' anywhere. Such was the case with Suzuran, which on all accounts was a fantastic Japanese grocery with a thriving sushi/sashimi business on the side.

Walk down here.

Unfortunately, by the time I arrived at Suzuran I was a month too late. Website notwithstanding, Suzuran has left South Yarra and Uta Sushi Bar now stands in its place.

Fortunately, it appears the proprietors are doing their valiant best to fill the shoes they've been handed down. Japanese groceries remain, though the selection is not extensive, and the sushi and sashimi menu is exactly the same. It'd be churlish not to partake of both!

So this is what was browsed:



This is what was consumed:

23. Sushi and Sashimi ($17.50)

3. Nigiri Deluxe ($16.50)

And this is what was bought:

Yakisoba and Mirin

How do I know this grocery would 'fit right in where it came from'? Every label on every item is almost exclusively in Japanese.

Definitely not your ordinary take-away sushi place, the produce (you know you're addicted to Masterchef when you start referring to everything edible as produce) was of fantastic quality. Fresh and delicate slices of sashimi, sushi laced with authentic mayonnaise right off the shelves (sold in packs of 1kg each!) and placement (and service) so charming and cheerful you're apt to forget that you're one of about five dinky little tables (only two of which were occupied).

And once again, I have my doubts as to whether I've really 'discovered' anything; the doors are a revolving whirl of shoppers and office workers in the know grabbing boxes to take away.

What I am sure of however, is that Suzuran it may no longer be, but Uta is doing just fine for themselves. And more importantly - there's a lot of love in the room!

Apologies for the long breaks between posts as I've been enduring examinations and tailoring a twenty-first. But that's a story for another (very soon) day!

Suzuran Sushi Bar on Urbanspoon


  1. Hahahah.... Well done! I also buy ingredients based on the language on the packaging... it's definitely more authentic that way!!

  2. Nice little place. Will have to check it out when I am in the area.

  3. Eee, cute! That sushi & sashimi looks seriously good too. You were so restrained in what you purchased, I tend to go crazy when let loose in a new food shop and pick up all kinds of random things. :)

  4. I like the look of this sushi and sashimi platter. Thanks for the post, if I hadn't read about it I would have no doubt just walked straight past.

    Jetsetting Joyce

  5. Yes- the sashimi looks quite good, and pretty cheap as well. Great to know what goes on the food is from the shelves.

    Totally get your situation, my posts have also been lacking due to many reasons i.e. moving house, DIY handywork going wrong and still, no internet at home... help!!!!!

  6. Nice and yummy review. I am impressed.
    Do they have "Grilled chicken, rice cake and vegetables in white miso broth"? or "Steamed grated lotus root on eel topped with sticky soy sauce"? I tried these two dishes recently at a function at the Embassy of Japan in Canberra and they were more tasty than anything Japanese that I have eaten, wow!

  7. I loved Suzuran in Camberwell and was actually planning to visit the South Yarra store, only to be surprised when I read on your blog that it was no longer there :(

    Uta does seem worthwhile visiting though. And any Asian grocery store that stocks those Tohato caramel corn snacks (those red packets in the photo captioned "snacky") gets a +1 from me!

  8. Hello - found your site on bloglovin and i am throughly enjoying your posts! Definately a perfect companion for a melbourne weekend trip -
    Great Reviews and Photographs!

    Happy Eating!

  9. lol, I must admit I recently bought a 1kg bottle of Japanese Mayonnaise for.......... $5!!!!!!!!!!! I dont think having a 1kg bottle of mayonnaise sitting in my fridge is exactly healthy, but how can you not buy it for $5??? This place looks pretty darn good. I wonder it they have carbonated milk drink....Daz has recently fallen in love with it. Must check it out.

  10. Hope the exams have been going well!

    ah what a shame I don't work in south yarra anymore. I could check this place out!

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