24 September 2010
Kenzan @ Collins Place, 45 Collins Street, Melbourne

To satisfy my craving for sashimi on Friday night, it seemed appropriate to dine at Kenzan. The food at Kenzan is always of a high quality and tonight was no exception. 

Between the two of us, we ordered a Medium Sushi and Sashimi Combination and a Unagi Don. 

The Sushi and Sashimi Combination contained a wonderful variety of raw delights that included assorted nigiri and sashimi, salmon and avocado maki and oysters. Every piece of fish was extremely fresh and plump, but the highlight was the full-bodied salmon nigiri that had been topped with grated radish. 

The slices of grilled eel from the Unagi Don were cooked in a sweet soya sauce and served on a bed of rice. With a $31 price tag, it is double what you would expect to pay for grilled eel at a Japanese café in Melbourne. However, the premium is justified. When the dish arrived, the skin of the eel was glistening with soya sauce and the soft white flesh looked succulent and tender. As the fatty flesh melted away in my mouth, the sweet and smoky flavours of the eel would fuse to produce magic. The unagi at Kenzan is truly sublime.

As a side note to city workers, Kenzan does a fantastic lunch special. There are three “lunch box” options at the set prices of $26.50, $35.00 and $38.00. 

The last time I lunched at Kenzan, I ordered the Kenzan Gozen. For $35.00, I was served a two tiered lunch box containing tempura, sashimi, sushi rolls, a small salad, rice and miso soup. As the lunch sets are a reasonable size, you can be assured that your stomach will be satisfied and that you will get back to the office within the hour.

Food: 8
Service: 6.5
Value: 6.5
Overall: 7


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