Sake Restaurant and Bar

To celebrate my little sister’s birthday, the family, JT and I went to Sake.

Address: Hamer Hall, Arts Centre Melbourne, 100 St Kilda Road, Melbourne, VIC 3004

Opening hours

Monday - Sunday: Lunch - Dinner

What we ordred

  • sashimi appetiser; 8 pieces of sashimi with wasabi & soy
  • salt & pepper tofu; crispy fried tofu pieces with chilli & spring onion
  • popcorn shrimp; bite-sized prawn tempura pieces tossed with creamy spicy sauce
  • assorted tempura; prawns, fish & seasonal vegetables with tentsuyu dipping sauce
  • wagyu new style; thin slices of wagyu beef lightly seared with hot oil &finished with ginger, chives & yuzu soy
  • miso-cream scallops pan-seared scallops, baby corn, asparagus, shiitake mushrooms & yuzu miso cream
  • crispy chicken karaage; fried chicken pieces served with salsa & sauces
  • wagyu teriyaki; marble score 7 wagyu beef sirloin, cooked medium-rare & served on sautéed shiitake & buckwheat with yakiniku sauce
  • chocolate fondant; warm chocolate pudding with white sesame ice-cream and black sesame tuile
  • bubble milk tea trifle; tea infused tapioca pearls, toasted white chocolate mouse, white chocolate pistachio crunch
  • matcha bento box; macaron, green tea ice-cream, green tea chessecake, green tea brulee
  • Pink Blossom; choya umeshu with fresh passionfruit, orange and citrus topped with cranberry juice
  • Ume Bellini; Choya umeshu and pomegranate puree, finished with vintage sparkling wine.
  • Hamer Hall Cooler; Apple, orange, pineapple and cranberry juices with spicy caramel syrup.

The Experience

Located just under Hamer Hall, Sake caught my interest when the southbank redevelopment finally reopened the area. Sake has a lovely wooden interior and a picturesque view of Flinders Street station and the Princes Bridge. Given the right weather, I wouldn’t have minded sitting outside either.

Sake Restaurant and Bar: view

We found the service attentive but a little shakey. Our waitress was overly eager and persistant about taking our order, asking us several times if we were ready to order when we said we’d order once everyone arrived. I understand that she had the best intentions but I just expected that our waitress could anticipate our needs a little better or to be a bit more relaxed about the service.

Sake Restaurant and Bar: view

The cocktails at Sake were interesting and not too strong, I love fruity cocktails so I really enjoyed the Pink Blossom that I ordered, as the fruity flavours were well balanced with the choya umeshu.

When it came to ordering our meal, the waitress also didn’t seem familiar with the menu. Lucky we knew what we wanted to order. I found the dishes we ordered were a mixed bag of good and bad.

The sashimi appetiser was quite standard, it was still nice, but I didn’t find the quality of the fish wasn’t melt-in-your-mouth amazing.

Sake Restaurant and Bar: wagyu teriyaki

I enjoyed the wagyu new style more than the wagyu teriyaki. The Wagyu new style was wagyu new style was much lighter and refreshing in terms of flavour whereas the wagyu teriyaki and grilled miso wagyu was much heavier.

Sake Restaurant and Bar: salt and pepper tofu

In terms of the fried food, the salt and pepper tofu and the crispy chicken karaage tasty. I was most disappointed by the assorted tempura, which was really oily - to the point where it was a little sickening. One bite and there was a burst of oil in my mouth. I love fried food, so I consider myself to have a pretty high oil tolerance, but it was too much, even for me. This was unexpected since the other fried dishes we ordered were pretty good.

Sake Restaurant and Bar: popcorn shrimp

The most interesting dish was the popcorn shrimp. It tasted like Tasty Toobs! So nostalgic~ This was a good dish to share since the flavour was a bit too strong and salty to eat alone for more than a couple of mouthfuls.

Sake Restaurant and Bar: miso cream scallops

My favourite dish was the miso cream scallops, which everyone really enjoyed. The scallops were perfectly seared. We couldn’t get enough of that creamy sauce, which was amazing. The dish was great accompanied with some rice. I wouldn’t mind revisiting just to enjoy a plate of scallops all to myself.

Sake Restaurant and Bar: bubble milk tea trifle

The desserts were pretty, intricate and detailed. The matcha bento box delivered in terms of flavour, but overall nothing seemed out of the ordinary. The chocolate fondant was delicious and probably one of the better fondants I’ve had all year and the accompanying white sesame ice-cream was really flavoursome and the black sesame tuile added a much welcomed crunch to the dessert. The most outstanding desert was the bubble milk tea trifle. The layers of this dessert were well defined. The textures and flavours reminded me of a gaytime and a bubble tea combined. It was delicious and filling.

Sake was a nice place with great atmosphere, but I feel that the place may still be finding its feet. Not all the dishes were a hit, but there was a few that I’d come back for. The price really set the bar for exceptional food and service, which Sake didn’t deliver consistently. The place is full of potential, so I hope they’ll manage to iron out these little bumps from their service and menu soon. If you’re planning to visit; do your research and order the dishes you won’t want to miss.

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