Kimurakan Café

238 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne CBD
Phone: 9650 2038

I love @thatjessho. Because she’s an enabler. And if we’ve learned anything at all from foodblogging, it’s that enablers are gold. Even when they’re not foodbloggers themselves. I’m looking at you, @eatnik.Only where @eatnik is a duck-enabler, @thatjessho is a booze enabler. It’s really hard to decide which is better, so I’m not going to.

Anyway, one Thursday not so long ago, I’d had coffee – for those of you who aren’t regular readers, coffee is like meth-amphetamine for me – so I was in need of some alcohol to calm my heart palpitations after work. Enter the booze-enabler. After a few drinks at the Cumulus bar, we headed off to find some food, because it wasn’t Friday, so eating wasn’t cheating.

Jess suggested Kimurakan, and I agreed, not really knowing what I was agreeing to. Of course, I’d been to Kimurakan before – quite a few times in my uni days – but I’d never actually bothered to learn its name. It was just the Japanese place, next to the (then) Taiwanese place (now Sambal Kampung) on Little Bourke, a couple of doors down from the canned abalone, Ugg boot and lanolin cream emporium.

Kimurakan is a pretty no-frills place, as far as looks go. Some might say run down. I say humble and unpretentious. But they serve pretty consistently decent food, and it’s cheap. Which is a winning combination in my books.

So I was couple of drinks in – yes, I am an utter lightweight, but apparently a fun drunkard – of course I ordered the mose deep-fried laden thing on the menu. The Kimurakan bento. To make things easier to read, I’m going to use bullet points here. The following things were not deep fried:

  • oysters
  • prawns
  • pippies
  • salad
  • rice.

The following things were:

  • mini-tonkatsu (pork cutlet)
  • kara-age (chicken)
  • croquettes x 2
  • fish
  • takoyaki
  • spring roll
  • tofu
  • a crab claw (I think? It was the little puffy thing in the middle).

imageI have to say I wasn’t the most discerning customer at that point in time, but just about everything tasted great. I did wish the oysters weren’t steamed, but rather fresh, or crumbed and fried, and the pippies and prawns were a bit of a let down. That’s probably just because they weren’t fried. They should have fried the salad too, and you can fry rice, right? Oh wait, they’re Japanese, not Chinese. Anyway, it was all pretty good, and a heaving amount of food for a ridiculously low price. From memory, it was somewhere near $15?

Jess had a hankering for udon, and ordered the nabeyaki udon. It was also a pretty large serving, with quite a bit of (hidden) seafood. Into which she proceeded to dump a mountain of shichimi togarashi (that’s the Japanese chilli/pepper powder). Scroll up fo a second. See that white pepper shaker? That’s the togarashi. Which totally doesn’t come out through those weeny holes. Be a pro like Jess, and take the lid off before sprinkling/pouring/dumping. Oh, and I love a restaurant that serves up a noodle soup with a ladle instead of a spoon. (Yes, I know, it’s a Japanese thing.)imageOf course, that wasn’t enough food, so we ordered a little entree of takoyaki to share. To be honest,  they were a little disappointing. Doughy, a touch bland, and not quite hot enough to make the bonito flakes dance the mystical bonito flake dance.imageAnd yeah, I did eat all of that bento, in case you were wondering.image

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