Izakaya Den has been on my list of places to visit for over two years. Imagine how thrilled I was to plan a visit to Izakaya Den, for JT’s Birthday (of course).
Address: 114 Russell St, Melbourne, VIC 3000
Lunch Monday to Friday: 12.00pm - 2.30pm
Evenings Monday to Saturday: 5.30pm till late
Kitchen open till Midnight Tuesday - Saturday
Izakaya Den only takes bookings for large groups in the evenings. Given that it was a friday night, we weren’t surprised when we we were greeted by the maitre d’ and told that would be an half hour wait.
The maitre d’ at Izakaya Den was was courteous, polite and knew the tables like the back of his hand. He didn’t pause to check the tables to see how long we’d have to wait. He already knew. As soon as space cleared in the drinking/waiting area he briskly seated us and armed us with the drinks menu. We ordered our drinks from a waitress. A short while after our drinks arrived, the matre d’ reappeared (from thin air? he walks so fast) and swiftly helped us move our drinks to the bench where we’d be dining. It’s been a while since we’ve experienced such a pleasant transition from waiting at for a table to being seated at one. Thank you Mr.Matre d’~
I really loved the Japanese Cosmo that I ordered from the cocktail menu! The taste of alchohol was subtle, which let the fruitiness of the cocktail shine through. We had been seated in front of the bar. It was interesting to watch the bartenders create drink after drink throughout our meal.
The food at Izakaya Den did not disappoint. JT and I had previously sampled the Sweet corn ‘kaki-age’ from the Taste of Melbourne, so it was great to revisit a dish that we remember fondly. The dishes that impressed us the most were the Hervey Bay scallops, the Kurobuta pork belly. The scallops were sweet, and the pork belly really carried that grilled flavour nicely. The kipfler potatoes really filled us up, but I felt it was a dish we could have skipped.
Dessert made me wish I had ordered less mains and more dessert. The Japanese pumpkin and quince brulee was an interesting combination that worked well. The tofu cake was soft and warm with a subtle taste of tofu, it was a perfect compliment to the brown sugar ice-cream. Even though we were so full. I couldn’t help wanting more tofu cake.
Izakaya Den is definitely a place I’d eagerly come back for a visit. To sample the rest of their cocktail menu, for a light bite or for some dessert? Decisions, decisions! Yum~