On Tuesday evening, we managed to find time in Emma and Simon's schedule to meet up for dinner. Cindy had been talking up Misuzu's since dmargster's recommendation, so we navigated our way over to Albert Park to try it out.
Cindy's research had also told us that we needed to book, even on a Tuesday evening - indeed, when we rang them they stressed to us that if we were more than 20 minutes late we'd lose our table. Sure enough, when we arrived the place was overflowing with people - it's a good sign when a place is in such demand on a school night. We squeezed our way upstairs to our table and settled in for the evening. The menu is well-stocked with vegetarian option - a wide variety of starters and probably half a dozen mains. Japanese food is usually a struggle for those of us who don't eat fish, so it was nice to see so many choices.
Emma and Simon were kind enough to share the large vegetarian entree platter ($22.80) with us. Unfortunately, the photo didn't work out very well. Despite our inadequate chopstick skills, we feasted on a selection of sushi, little hot tasty things, some sort of dried sweet potato salad, bits of tofu and various other bits and pieces. It was tremendous - the sweet potato in particular was an odd and impressive dish. It was a fairly gigantic plate of food to get us started, but we were given enough time to rest between finishing it up and the arrival of our mains.
Which was lucky, because when they came, they were gigantic. Cindy ordered the tempura soba ($13.80) - seasonal tempura vegetables in soy-based soup with buckwheat soba noodles. Look at how high they piled that soup! The tempura vegies were plentiful and delicious and the buckwheat noodles were thick and tasty. There was, of course, too much for Cindy, but what she managed to eat she was very impressed with.
I opted for the vegetable don ($13.80): tempura veges stewed with finely sliced onion in a layered free-range egg omelette. It was terrific - full of vegies without being overly heavy, a generous slathering of egg and some tasty rice at the bottom. Again, it was a ridiculously hearty meal - I managed to get through it all, but there was no room left for me to help Cindy out.
Simon and I shared a nice bottle of wine, Cindy knocked back a ramune (Japanese old-style lemonade) and Emma had some sort of tea. The service was pretty good, the atmosphere was great (the mural behind our table was all kinds of weird) and the meal was remarkably affordable for the quality. So make a booking and try it out - Misuzu's is a fine option. Even if it is far, far away across the other side of the river.
Address: 2-7 Victoria Avenue, Albert Park
Ph: 9699 9022
Price: Vegie mains: $10 - $15