After ten years of operation in Brisbane and some fire damage to its Melbourne outpost, Japanese restaurant Shinbashi Yakiniku is back up and running again in Carlton. Its obsessions are indicated in the name: yakiniku means 'Japanese barbecue', while Shinbashi is a district in Tokyo where locals love their barbecue and eateries bustling with ravenous white collar workers abound.
Owner Charlie Cheng wanted to bring a restaurant that focuses "on the quality of the meat and the education of traditional Yakinuku culture" to Melbourne. Shinbashi Yakiniku specialises in wagyu sourced from well-known locals, such as David Blackmore and Sher Wagyu. Among the most popular dishes are the wagyu deluxe trio (oyster blade, short rib and marbled beef), the M7+ Wagyu Dice and the M9+ Wagyu Sirloin. There's also plenty of lamb, pork, chicken, seafood and sides, as well as a selection of vegetarian dishes — all of which will be cooked at your table, either by you or a member of staff.
And, in excellent news for big appetites, the restaurant is serving up all-you-can-eat Japanese barbecue three nights a week. Drop by on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday evening to tuck into bottomless barbecued delights. There are more than 50 dishes on the menu and you're welcome to make your way through all of them for 60 bucks. On other nights, you'll be feasting a la carte.
If you're a sake master, conquer the Daiginjo, a 1.8-litre bottle, or take your pick of the many other sakes on the drinks list. Alternatively, go for umeshu or a Japanese beer.
With designers Amy Pierce and Nat Widera having taken care of the interior with cool greys and clean lines, Shinbashi Yakiniku offers a tranquil, Zen-inspired refuge from Melbourne's busy streets.