My friend mentioned Hinoki Japanese Pantry to me once, but we didn’t end up going. So when another friend suggested it again after her graduation, I happily obliged.
After visiting, man, I’VE BEEN MISSING OUT ALL MY LIFE, FOR REALZ. Sushi bar at the front, Japanese grocery in the back, it’s like, literally, all I need.
|Nose Make Mix – $13.50|
Because it was my first time visiting, I decided to order the maki mix, which allowed me to try 5 types of maki Hinoki had to offer. From top to bottom, they were – seared salmon, eggplant, kingfish, tuna and salmon. It was hard to pick a favourite, because they were all so unique! But the most unique one out of the bunch would be the eggplant I guess. The eggplant was silky and sweet, and was a delight to eat. The seared salmon was also really nice, it was caramelised nicely with a blowtorch. The kingfish one had a kick to it from the jalapeño hiding beneath the little cubes of kingfish. The salmon on the end there was also really yummy, with just the right amount of kewpie on top. The tuna was probably the most unremarkable, that being said though, it was still really nice. The freshness of the fish was what I really enjoyed, and of course, the presentation was so on point.
The grocery store at the back has some Japanese specialty snacks, sauces, and just everyday needs. I got some caramel popcorns which were delish!
Hinoki is certainly pricier than your average sushi chain, but for the quality, it’s worth every penny. There is just something so nice about see the sushis made right in front of you by the sushi chef. Hinoki has a very extensive menu, and also has platters that can be ordered beforehand – which I may or may not have went back for a week later. Hinoki Japanese Pantry has definitely made it to my list of favourite sushi restaurants in Melbourne.
How to get there:
Hinoki Japanese Pantry is located on Smith Street in Fitzroy, 5 minutes walk from stop Smith Street and Johnson Street on the 200 and 207 bus line, alternatively, take tram 86, and get off at stop #18 Hodgson Street and Smith Street.