Sushi Bar Aka Tombo

Sushi Bar Aka Tombo
205 Greville St, Prahran, VIC, AUSTRALIA
03 9510 0577

Hi guys, I have decided to re-start my blog again after a long hiatus.  You might see that the format has changed a little bit.  Previously I’ve only blogged about my travel restaurant reviews but from now on it will encompass both Australia reviews as well as overseas reviews.  There was a time when I wanted to give up blogging completely… but thanks to the encouragement of Hubby and Dr. Ben, as well as Esky who has taught me how to use my new SLR camera (sorry obviously I am still learning at the moment as you can see from the pics below!), I am ready to blog again! 🙂

So first blog for Melbourne I have chosen to blog about Sushi Bar Aka Tombo as Dr Ben recommended it to us!

Upon entering Sushi Bar Aka Tombo, you will be greeted by the sushi chef (I think he’s also the owner) and three waitresses working on the floor.   I was a bit worried, whilst it’s not a full house it is quite busy for a small restaurant.  With one chef running the show how quickly would I food come out?  Turns out we didn’t have to be too worried.  The chef seemed to have his processes down pat and was efficiently preparing sushi/ sashimi whist the waitresses seemed to double as cooks for any hot dishes (more on that later.

As per its namesake, Sushi Bar Aka Tombo’s menu mostly comprises of sushi and sashimi and have less focus on cooked food.  Seasonal specials do feature on their first page and there are some hot dishes like teriyaki chicken, eel rice etc.

It was a cold cold night and I wanted something hot but since Dr. Ben recommended the uni (sea urchin) we decided to try it on a sushi.   OMG it was so fresh and yummy!  We watched the chef making it and I think he almost used the whole box of uni on this 4 pieces of sushi.  YUM!  Fresh uni has this certain sweetness to it and this is it.  It was so good that we ordered another 4 of these ($18 per 4)!

Next up we ordered some hotate (scallops) sashimi.  Once again the sashimi is really fresh and it has a certain sweetness to it.  What a really appreciate is that the chef puts shiso leaves on the scallops which adds another dimension to the flavours.  I really really love shiso leaves and was so nuts about this that we ordered another dish of this also!  ($18 each plate)

Alas sadly, that’s where the awesomeness kinda left.  Since it was so cold we ordered miso soup.  The miso soup was wayyyyyyy too salty and there wasn’t much other ingredients in it other than miso and maybe 1 wakame and very very small pieces of tofu.  Not worth the AUD$5 we paid each!

Next was the large Unagi Gohan we ordered (AUD$22).  Hrm.  Large hey?  This ain’t large!  When it came we seriously thought that they heard wrong and gave us a small one!

And while I love how it looks healthy and nutritious with all the sprinkles of omelette and beans, I was seriously expecting a slab of grilled eel with lots of sauce and rice, and the only veg I was expecting was seaweed.  This is certainly not what I expected and for the price we paid we could have better.  The eel was a bit rubbery and the whole dish was just dry.

The wagyu tataki ($22) I would also consider as a fail.  Do people now just decides to use the term “wagyu” loosely because this ain’t the melt-in-your-mouth kind of wagyu!  This wagyu is chewy and tough and in hindsight I was kicking myself for not sending it back.  I think I gave up after 2 pieces and hubby had to have it all by himself.

Overall, I felt that Sushi Bar Aka Tombo was let down by its cooked food.  As mentioned previously most of the cooked food is done by the waitress (although the beef tataki was done by the sushi chef) and I think they don’t have enough skills and experience to cook a nice dish (no excuses for that Wagyu tataki though HUMPH!).  I think they should either decide to be a sushi bar or hire someone who can actually cook hot dishes.  Another thing we were a little bit concern about is the way they store their sashimi.  It doesn’t seemed to be covered in any way and there are a few flies around.  No one seemed to mind and we didn’t get sick so no complains there, but we would have liked it much better if there was some sort of cabinet most sushi bars used.

So, this place is really difficult to score.  If I had to simply score its sashimi and sushi, I would have scored an 8.  However, the cooked food really screw things up so overall it would be a 6/10.

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