Gwen O’Toole is an accomplished writer focusing on travel, food, wine and events management. Follow her on Instagram @Gwennieo
Published May 19th 2016
You new late night fave
Melbourne's CBD's newest late-night dining destination for Japanese far has opened with Saké Flinders Lane. Here you'll find both the fine dining atmosphere of it's sibling venue in Southbank's Hamer Hall as well as a casual bar with a bar food, sushi and ramen menu that'll hit the spot this winter.
The new location is in the old building that was once Woody P. (right next door to Chin Chin) but Saké Flinders Lane is spread over two levels; fine dining upstairs or if you're keen for something on the more casual side, (especially on a temperamental Melbourne winter night) take the stairs one level below to the dimly lit, modern and more casual cocktail bar. It's sophisticated, very cosy and has a cocktail menu you're won't want to pass up. Of course, there's the enormous sake and Japanese whiskey, menu on offer as well as a solid wine list.
The Miss Wednesday (front) and Pink Slipper (back) are an ideal way to end a workday or celebrate the weekend. Image:The Ideas Library
Downstairs you'll find the fine dining menu available as well as a more casual bar menu that's ideal for sharing. We suggest grabbing a few plates of a few plates of sashimi and yakitori, but be warned, you won't likely want to share these. No big on sharing, just enjoy your food solo with a bowl of late night-ramen.
The Yakitori with shiso and wasabi; a delicious dish to share (even though you won't want to.) Image:The Ideas Library.
At the helm in the kitchen is three-star Michelin chef, Jean Paul Lourdes, so you know the fare is going to be spot on, and it is.
What makes Saké Flinders Lane a little bit different is that many of the key ingredients are made in-house. From a Japanese spice called togarashi, to the furikake – a traditional rice seasoning. They also do a house-smoked soy sauce which is used in a number of dishes, including fire-roasted eggplant.
Saké Flinders Lane also smokes its own salts, makes its own tofu, and prepares its own miso paste, a six-month process that results in pretty spectacular fare.
Beautifully colourful; our beef tataki didn't look like this for very long before. Image:The Ideas Library
So if you're keen to dine out for a special occasion or just to treat yourself, grab a table upstairs. Keen for the same fare in a much more casual environment, then enjoy a drink or two in a more downstairs. You'll also find a resident DJ spins tunes which gives it just the right feel if you're kicking off your weekend or having a night out with friends. It also makes for a perfect spot for a Saturday night date night.
Either way, get there quick before the queues start!