6/200 Bourke St
Melbourne, VIC 3000
Before I start the review, let me lead with this: Kaneda came as a recommendation from K, a beloved foodie in crime. Although I’ve always been vaguely interested in the 4/5 Zomato rating it has, I was completely turned off by the fact that it was a Japanese restaurant with a Chinese menu. So if it weren’t for K, this place would’ve been left in my ‘written off’ pile forevermore. Now did K do me a favour? Let’s find out…
I’ve probably walked past Kaneda hundreds of times over the years, but this was the first time I’ve actually stopped and given it a proper look. It’s a slightly tatty but sweet enough place, decorated in a very deliberate Japanese style. More notable was the size of the menu, which spanned dozens of pages, and totalled almost 200 items.
The Chirashi Sushi ($14.5) was the dish K raved about, but I have to admit I was rather underwhelmed. Although the salmon was fresh, and cut into plump slices, I found the dish to be largely unremarkable overall. In K’s defence, what he actually recommended was the flame-grilled salmon chirashi, but considering that I could get a larger chirashi of arguably better quality at Don Don for a tenner, I can’t imagine Kaneda is going to lure me back in a hurry.
Even less impressive was the Pork Shogayaki Set ($14.8). The best part of it was the miso soup, which was surprisingly delicate and flavoursome. Other than that, the pork was dry, the fried chicken flavourless, and the single spring roll a defrosted atrocity. Once again, I couldn’t help but think about Don Don’s $10 bento box, stuffed so full of tender teriyaki chicken and juicy sukiyaki beef that you can barely move after you finish.
As it turned out, my gut feeling about Kaneda not being very good was spot on. The food and service were both only passable at best, and I was frankly disgusted by the way they kept the food scraps bin and dirty dishes bucket directly in view of the restaurant, approximately 2 metres from where I had been seated. So yeah, K is now officially on probation.
Rating: 10.5/20 – the 4/5 is a lie.
This rating reflects my personal experience at the time of visit.