Tetsujin channels the energy and atmosphere of a bustling Tokyo izakaya, reimagined for its location in upscale CBD shopping centre, Melbourne Emporium.
At the front of the venue, behind an irregular arch of geometric white timber lines, Tetsujin’s cheap and cheerful sushi train is light and bright with floor to ceiling windows, marble countertops and white hoop lights suspended neatly from the ceiling. As we walk through to the barbecue section of the restaurant, the atmosphere shifts to an industrial-looking space complete with glowing neon signs and walls plastered with blocky Japanese graphics.
Watermelon Soju ($38)
Like a true izakaya, drinks seem to have equal importance at Tetsujin with a serious 19-page beverage menu, which includes beer, cocktails, spirits and a rainbow assortment of special sake towers in flavours like green apple, raspberry and pistachio. For those in the mood for a tropical holiday (that’s me!), try the ice cold watermelon soju filled with fresh juice, melon balls and soju. Perhaps a little gimmicky as it wasn’t strong at all, but refreshing, sweet and fun nevertheless.
Soft Shell Crab Salad
Spicy Seafood Tofu Hot Pot
Wagyu Heaven! Look at all that marbling! 😍
Wagyu Ox Tongue
For food, we opted for the $99 ‘Premium Set’ for 2 people. Consisting of juicy soft shell crab salad, salmon sashimi, various cuts of wagyu including: scotch fillet, oyster blade and ox tongue, all served with rice, spicy seafood tofu hot pot (choice of spicy or miso base), assorted vegetables and a trio of sauces.
Although the menu indicated that wagyu inside skirt was included with this set, we received only (a pumped up) serving of scotch fillet, oyster blade and ox tongue with no mention from staff. No complaints from me as I don’t know my cuts of meat and therefore don’t know what I’m missing 😅, but something worth mentioning in case you do!
The thinly sliced wagyu scotch fillet was my favourite! Being careful to only flash sear each side before lightly dipping into one of the three sauces, it was melt-in-the-mouth tender with an explosion of juices and flavour. I also loved the peppery ox tongue, which was accentuated with a fresh kick of lemon.
Surprisingly, this was my first ever Japanese BBQ experience! With nothing to compare it to, I loved the delicious cuts of wagyu, which tasted incredible even before dipping into the flavoursome sauces. A fun izakaya-style eatery perfect for a quick bite of sushi in between shopping, or a smoky night of barbecue and drinks with friends. Highly recommended!
This post is based on an independently paid visit to Tetsujin.
Emporium, 295 Lonsdale St, Melbourne VIC 3000
(03) 9663 9993
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