143-145, Bourke St, Melbourne, VIC 3000
Looking at the very positive reviews on Urbanspoon, I was really quite looking forward to dining here. The welcome was warm much like in Japan and it seems like a really good start.
Agedashi Tofu - this is my go to dish to work out the quality of the restaurant and while the dofu here is ok, it's about average and the dashi was tasty. However, the tofu was harder than most of the best places for this dish. I tend to like bonito flakes with my Agedashi Tofu, which they didn't have. This was not an issue, so overall, it was average.
Yakisoba - My friend Naomichi makes the best soba and this was far from it. How do I put it, it tasted like really good plane food but no more. Tasty but the noodles were a bit too soft, almost like it was reheated.
Beef Kushisashi - This was pretty average and so not much to comment on.
The service was unfailingly polite, quick and really friendly as you would expect of a true Japanese restaurant. The wait staff were all Japanese and provided a great level of service.
I might come here to try the sushi and sashimi but not the other dishes. What I expect of a good Japanese restaurant is light, fresh and tasty dishes. Hachibeh was not bad as I have definitely had worse Japanese meals in many Chinese run places, but this was not at the top of its game, for the prizes it charges.
The humble tonkatsu has been around since the late 19th century and is offered everywhere in Japan, either as a main, as a snack, in a curry sauce or as sandwich filling. While most places use pork, it's also possible to have chicken, beef, mince, and ham. It should be lightly crusted with panko (bread crumbs) and lightly fried. One of the most amazing thing I have had in Japan is Katsu Sando (Katsu Sandwich), light white bread, whether with some shredded cabbage or egg, it is a great snack to have on the move, in trains or just a quick snack going from one meeting to another. It is sold in most corner shops that sell those amazing bento boxes.