Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Takumi Japanese Restaurant

32, Bourke St, Melbourne, VIC 3000

Takumi on Urbanspoon
http://www.takumi.com.au/
This is without doubt, one of my favourite places to dine. It has the service, the ambience and good quality food. It is a bit expensive which is the only reason I don't go there everytime I am after good Japanese. However, even then, they serve a reasonable lunch. So, if you have not tried it before, do yourself a favour and give it a go. This is a licensed venue as well with a wide range of Japanese drinks.

The Place
Set up the top of Bourke Street - a stone's throw from Parliament House - in amongst louder and brighter restaurants, blink and you'll miss Takumi. It's quite nondescript on the outside. On the inside, it is generally dim and quiet, with understated comfortable furnishings and a rather calm ambience. Like most places in this area, parking will be an issue if you are driving.

Things to do Nearby: Collins Street is not too far away and the Treasury Gardens, Conservatory and The Mint Museum are all places to see closeby. The Victorian Parliament House does tours too some days.

The Food
The food is fresh and prepared well. I have been there both a lunch time and dinner as well and have been impressed with the range of offerings. The lunch items are closer to $20 each but the quality is unmistakable and worth it. It's really quite special. I simply love love love their Wagyu items for lunch.

For Dinner, it's hard to go past their charcoal grill offerings - "sumibi yakiniku" and this is not one of those smokey restaurants where you come out smelling like what you just ate. It's really good and if you can't decide but like lots of meat - just go for the 'All you can Eat' option and eat your ways through the limited selection of high quality meats (don't be put off by the ox tongue - it's really good) and basic vegies.

The Service
The service here is very courteous and attentive. Traditional Japanese hospitality at the top end of town. I have never found it wanting. They are also happy to explain how things work and different cuts of meat if you are unsure.

Overall
Matt Preston has reviewed this place before and found it to be a really excellent experience. Who am I to disagree and in this instance, I totally agree. I will be back again and again. This is an unusually short review for me but it's because it's simply a good restaurant with good food and good service. No more, no less.

Cultural Moment
Wagyu (which is Japanese for cow) which is now the rage in Australia and is served even at Maccas and Hungry Jacks originated from Japan (obviously). The whole idea is to have meat that is highly marbled, and it's supposed to improve the ratio of monounsaturated fats to saturated fats (which is better for you). The Japanese have their beef down to a fine art (like many things in Japan) and the best beef is supposed to come from Kobe and Matsuzaka, where it is said that cows are given massages, live a stress free life (until that end point!) and bathe is sake? Hmmm... this needs more research, but one thing is for sure - wagyu is yummo!

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