Annie is a funny little foodie, living by the beach who loves to get out and about.
Published January 15th 2016
Journey to the center of the steak
Vising Melbourne offers a rare chance to try something different. Walking past china town, this small, intimate restaurant is easy to miss. On the inside, it is elegant, yet crowded. A lovely waiter with a strong accent shows us to a table and leaves us with an extensive drink menu.
My partner tries a mocktail as he's driving. The Honey Strawberry Bliss is a sweet, tantalising mix of Honeydew Melon, strawberry and what we suspect is ginger. You certainly don't miss the liquor here. It's perfect in the humid heat of the night. We take them to the balcony to have a peak at the traffic passing by.
Due to a surprisingly large different in price compared to similar restaurants in the area as well as our small appetites we decide against any entrees. I order a Stone Grill serve of Wagyu Sirloin while my partner elects to try the Ribeye. To be safe we order sides of prawn and tofu.
The portioning is massive, ordering entrees would have been a mistake. To make things better (or worse, depending on your waistline) we are given a side of complimentary potato salad, which is beyond amazing. It is creamy and salty, but not overpowered by condiments like so many American versions. Before our steaks are even cooked we ask for seconds. Turns out it's a little racket, get the customer hooked on the free serve, then charge for any more salad. We happily obliged for that amazing dish that deserves its own spotlight.
Finally our steaks are cooked, the stone grill, while a great novelty, does take a lengthy amount of time to cook. It is also a little small, making maneuvering, checking doneness and not getting burnt a wee bit difficult. No matter, the smell coming off the grill is worth it.
We are provided with ponzu sauce, garlic miso butter, teriyaki sauce and sesame to flavor our dishes. The garlic miso butter is perfect with the beef. It melts over the already melt-in-your-mouth meat, creating a charred, savory, buttery flavor hard to recreate. The Ribeye, unfortunately, due the bone did not cook as well. While flavoursome, covered in teriyaki, it was a bit on the tough side.
What is there to say about the tofu? It was tofu, not marinated . Next time we'll choose something else. The prawns were amazing, clearly freshly cleaned they grilled in a few minutes and the ponzu sauce was the perfect accompaniment.
We left with full bellies and empty wallets, dreaming of that perfect potato salad. With a price tag tipping well over the $100 mark, it is not your average China Town eatery, but when you want something a little bit special Ishiya will do the trick.