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21° & CLEAR SKY ON SATURDAY 21 SEPTEMBER IN MELBOURNE
By Libby Curran
February 28, 2019
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Sonny Chiba

A modern Japanese diner with brisket-stuffed doughnuts and an Iced Vovo dessert.
By Libby Curran
February 28, 2019
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Blending Japanese finesse with masterfully innovative twists, Sonny Chiba makes for an exciting addition to Armadale's growing culinary scene. The contemporary eatery has landed on Beattie Street, rocking a warm, minimalist fit-out and a kitchen helmed by Head Chef Jun Ha Park (Nobu, Saké).

Inside, a raw sushi bar takes pride of place in the dining room, surrounded by blond timber and custom Alex Earl light fixtures, adding theatre aplenty to the experience.

Working to the classic Japanese philosophy of hara hachi bu — eating until you're just eight-tenths full — the menu features a careful selection of small bites and larger dishes, all dressed to impress.

A top-quality nigiri and sashimi offering showcases locally caught seafood, while that raw bar serves combinations like tuna tataki with wasabi cream and pickled onion, and a yuzu-matched line-caught sea bream ($20).

Bites like the hot beef doughnut, filled with curried brisket, yuzu salt and coconut ($9), and the poached prawn 'sando' ($9.5) are destined to become cult favourites (or at least Instafamous). Larger shares might include the likes of handmade pork gyoza ($15), fried chicken teamed with sweet and sour sauce ($16), and a 500-gram Black Angus rib eye for two ($59).

The matching booze offering runs to wines plucked from across Victoria and France, top-notch Japanese sake and a slew of clever cocktails — think, the Espresso Longtini ($19), with its blend of rum, coffee, burnt orange and condensed milk. The humble Iced Vovo makes an appearance, too, getting a revamp for a dessert of mille-feuille with raspberries, marshmallow and cream ($14).

Images: Simon Shiff.

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