This unassuming and non-eye catching little shop on Burke Rd houses 2 awesome reasons for us to travel to Camberwell much more frequently than I would otherwise like to, given the scary school traffic at peak hours in this area. 1) There is an excellent selection of Japanese groceries, some of which I have not seen anywhere else in Melbourne and 2) The great quality take-away packs of sushi and sashimi sold from its sushi bar. When I was pregnant, all I seemed to crave were foods which I was not allowed to eat. (What's up with that anyway?) Number one on that list was sushi, so I've been making amends for it ever since!
From noodles and sea weed, icy-poles and frozen takoyaki, to pickles and mirin and azuki beans and tinned or frozen unagi, there are lots and lots and LOTS of Japanese goodies on these shelves. For health conscious parents, there are MSG free soy sauces and rice crackers. For special kiddie treats they have a great selection of kids bikkies and snacks (Thomas the Tank Engine chocolate sticks and Anpanman rice crackers are a hit in our house.) And for those parents needing a treat AWAY from their kids, they have quite a good selection of sake!
The Sushi Bar offers a big selection of sushi in different cominations and permutations. There are vegetarian options as well. You can ring ahead and order from the menu for pick-up, order when you get there and shop while you wait, or they usually have some ready-made popular packs that you can grab on the go. Larger catering platters are also available on order. Hubby bought me this big sushi and nigiri platter to share after Bubs finally arrived and I was allowed raw foods again!
The sushi chefs have also kindly made avocado-only maki's on request for my kids.
The staff are all Japanese and extremely polite, friendly and helpful. The aisles in the shop are wide enough for a stroller, which is a bonus, as many Asian grocery stores are often over-stocked and impossibly pram-unfriendly. Ample parking available in front of the store and around the corner on Rathmines Road.
Eat.Play.Shop. Recommends : Coming here to pick up some freshly prepared sushi and nigiri (A LOT better than most sushi take-aways) and grabbing some yokan to have with vanilla ice-cream for dessert. If you bring the kidlets with you be prepared to have them beg you for a packet of cute bikkie/rice cracker/lollies! Give it a Miss : if you want to dine here - take-away only! Also it's cash and EFTPOS only, no credit cards!