Taketori Fusion Japanese

Shop1 225 King St
Melbourne, VIC 3000
I miss Japan. I miss the bustling cities and the trains that ran on time. I miss the heat of the day and the cool sea breezes at night. Most of all, I miss the food. In Japan you could get 30 different kinds of bento boxes in any convenience store, sit at a sushi train and eat the freshest sashimi you’ll ever taste, and walk into any restaurant knowing that a good feed is on the menu.
Hence my excitement when Annie, co-owner of Taketori Fusion Japanese, invited me to come and have a nibble at their modern takes on Japanese cuisine.  Being a new high-end Japanese restaurant on King Street, I had ample expectations for their food.

Taketori means bamboo, and the walls are beautifully stencilled with silvery motifs. There’s a sushi bar lined up at the front, and even a downstairs section where patrons sit on cushions on the floor a la Japan. The owners’ background in design is really put up for show here; they want eating to be a marriage of food and ambience, aiming to create a lovely experience. 
Japanese Tea ($4.5pp)
Annie suggested a pot of Japanese Tea($4.5pp) for the cold, and the fragrant roasted rice green tea that slid into our tummies was liquid warmth. 

Chicken Yakitori ($13.9)
We started off with a plate of Chicken Yakitori ($13.9), which was prettily presented with a side salad of rocket and citrus. The grilled chicken was tender and lightly smoky-sweet, but quite uninspired. The side salad however, with its bitter, sweet, and sour notes, was wonderfully refreshing. 

Miso Soup ($3.9)
My bowl of Miso Soup ($3.9) was rich and nutty, the turbid clouds hiding wobbly pieces of tofu and crunchy wakame. 

Beef Sirloin Teriyaki ($22.9)
The Beef Sirloin Teriyaki ($22.9) was very well executed. The beef was still pink in the middle, resulting in juicy, flavoursome strips of beef, glazed with sweet soy. 

Scallop Sashimi ($10.9, 9 pieces)
I don’t usually indulge in scallops, as I often find them to be watery and not very fresh at all. Thank goodness the Scallop Sashimi ($10.9, 9 pieces) served up at Taketori was plump and silken, all but melting its way down the throat in a trail of refreshing brininess. 

Assorted Sashimi ($20.9, 15 pieces)
Assorted Sashimi ($20.9, 15 pieces)
The grand finale of the night was a platter of Assorted Sashimi ($20.9, 15 pieces), served up beautifully on a dark stone slab. There were the usual suspects – tuna, kingfish and salmon, which were firm and fresh. The slivers of octopus were quite chewy and bland, but compact curves of oily mackerel brought the dish back up.
Taketori is quite a nice place to be on a Friday night, but it would be even better to come as a group. The generous spaces and the downstairs tatami sections would make throwing large parties a breeze, and the food is nice, albeit simple and rather expensive. I look forward to seeing where this restaurant will go in the future.
Rating: 13/20 – nostalgic for japan.
This rating reflects my personal experience at the time of visit.
Sweet and Sour Fork dined as a guest of Taketori Fusion Japanese.

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