Friday, February 4, 2011


Happy New Year people!! And today being the first day of Chinese New Year, Gong Xi Fa Cai!! Here's the long overdue post about a very nice meal in Melbourne. Been meaning to write about this place for ages but kept on getting distracted. Been away for 3 weeks, before that was Christmas, and before that I was too busy playing zombie vs plant :p 

Anyway, back to this meal. Had this when I went to Melbourne few months back. I knew there was this nice restaurant there but I didn't want to go alone. So I asked Vivienne who had recently moved to Melbourne to join me. We ordered quite a few dishes, chatted non-stop through dinner, totally didn't feel we've just met for the first time :) I guess that's the good thing about meeting up with food bloggers. There will never be the awkward silence because there's a topic that we can never finish talking about - FOOD! 

Started with Sashimi Moriawase - Sashimi lover's feast – carefully selected and arranged by our chef to delight your eyes and mouth $42.80. I was a bit disappointed with the presentation of this sashimi. I wanted to show Vivienne the cool ice-bowl the sashimi that I had in my previous visit. I found out after that they only put the entree size sashimi in that beautiful ice-bowl, but not the main size sashimi. Even though the presentation was not as impressive as I thought it would be, the sashimi was very fresh and each and every piece was thick and sweet. 

Salmon Toro Aburi - Rare cooked salmon belly - $7.00 As mentioned a few times in my blog, salmon aburi has to be my favourite sushi. I just really really like the smell of the lightly torched salmon. So when I saw salmon TORO aburi, I just had to order it. It was definitely as good as expected to be. The fragrant, the juice, the sweetness, it'll stay as my favourite sushi for long long time to come. 

Served together with the salmon toro aburi was the Toro aburi - Lightly broiled tuna belly - $8.50. Almost as good as the salmon, but I'm biased towards salmon anyway :p 

Crab Tempura - Whole ‘Taraba’ crab leg deep-fried in tempura style. This is not a very good photo because it doesn't show how long that crab leg was! It was probably the length of my forearm if not longer. The crab meat was so fresh, the batter was very crispy and there was just so much meat in that leg. Shell was cracked so all we needed to do was just to pick it up, dip it in the salt (green tea salt??) and bite. Even though it was deep fried, the meat was still juicy and sweet inside. 

Nama Shii Hotate - SHOYA's signature and must try fired dish. Mashed scallops softy surround the quail egg topped with a whole shiitake mushroom to make it perfect $16.50. This was definitely something I thought very creative and different. Didn't care to eat that chilli that came with the quail eggs though. If nobody told me quail eggs have much higher cholesterol than chicken eggs, I could be popping these little yummy packages 1 after another into my mouth all night long. 

Now this is the MUST ORDER dish. Beef Spinach Soufflé - Ox tongue simmered over two days with wine and sake then delicately rolled with spinach soufflé $32.00. By the way, the menu did not have photos of the dishes. So until we ordered and saw it on the table, we didn't know what to expect. At first I wasn't very sure about this. Beef Spinach Soufflé. Usually the soufflés that I know are desserts. Soft fluffy desserts that would rise very tall and then sink very fast too. Couldn't imagine a beef and spinach flavoured soufflé like that. As it turned out, it wasn't as I thought (phew!). It was actually REALLY REALLY GOOD!! The spinach around the ox tongue was so soft. I thought it would be like a lot of fibre and hard to chew, but no, it's like it was cooked till all fibre had dissolved and it would just melt in the mouth. The ox tongue was as written on menu, simmered over 2 days, it would literally just melt away together with the spinach. It was definitely 1 of those dishes that you take a bite and you would automatically close your eyes and go "MMMmmmmm............" and then you would wish that the plate would magically refill itself. 

For dessert, Vivienne picked the Chocolate cake with plum wine. I tried a piece, like commented by Viv, couldn't really taste the plum wine. It was a nice rich creamy chocolate cake nonetheless. Just that we were expecting something a bit more than just a chocolate cake when we saw the term "plum wine" on the menu. 

I ordered the Tofu Chocolate Mousse - Smooth light chocolate mousse smothered with tofu - $9.00. All I have to say is that it didn't feel like tofu :p It was a yummy creamy chocolate mousse as far as I know haha. The only thing kinda stood out was that red 'seeds' on the mousse. There were some gold flakes, a blueberry and the 2 red seeds. Not sure what they were, but they tasted like pepper seeds or something. Something herb-ish than fruity. 

It was a very enjoyable evening. The restaurant managed to maintain the quality of the food they served since 2 years ago when I last went there. Very very satisfied with the meal. It was also very nice to meet up with Viv!! I thought it would be a little awkward to meet someone the first time, but nope, it was like meeting an old friend :D 

25 Market Lane, Melbourne, Victoria
Tel: (03) 9650 0848

Honestly, I can't remember how was the lighting condition already. So I thought if I don't remember it being particularly bad, that means it should be quite o.k :p Shouldn't be too difficult to take photos. Space wise was good. We were able to move the dish around and take photos from all sorts of different angles. 


  1. I love aburi sashimi! The spinach souffle doesn't look as I would've expected either. It sounds amazing.

  2. Haha you *finally* got this post up unlike me! :P Great post and good've really good memories...wrote it like it happened last night! lol. I miss those crab tempura...that souffle is def the highlight yumm!
    I havent been back to shoya...been trying a lot of other places tho! hopefully will post soon :P

  3. hey Helen, yeah.. the souffle was unexpectedly good :)

    hey Viv, hahaha.. yeah .. FINALLY got to it :p yes, please post more about Melb restaurants! So that I know where to go when I visit Melb next :)

  4. I tried this place kinda by mistake... wanted to get into Hutong Dumpling Bar, but of course, it was booked out.

    Luck was on my side because I went across the lane to this yummy place.

    The sashimi lover's feast look hot!

  5. hi thang, hahaha.. good choice!! I'm pretty sure you n your company didn't regret going to Shoya instead of Hutong :)

  6. Yep, really enjoyed it.. I'd go back anyway!

  7. OMG, that crab tempura with green tea salt has my name written all over it.