May 16, 2011

Swanston Street, University of Melbourne
I was here last week for a women’s networking dinner organised by a society at uni. 85 Broads. I thought it’d be ultra-feminists with severe PMS and unshaven underarms, but it was actually a fantastically interesting and inspiring evening, the guest speakers were all great, and gave such breadth of experience and advice. Unfortunately, being the dolt I am, I completely forgot to bring my camera, so you’ll just have to imagine all the dishes, which were all shared plates. Tsubu is a Japanese bar that does drinks and good food, at the more pricey end of the uni-scale. It’s behind the ERC and Frank Tate.
We started with pork gyoza with herbs and ginger served with a sesame dipping sauce. I love gyoza, especially their crispy, pan-fried bottoms. Excellent, tasty filling and tangy sauce to accompany.
Next was a plate of cured salmon, marinated in asian herbs (I would like to give more detail here but I have no idea what these herbs are), served with cucumber wakame salad and slices of omlette. This was my favourite dish of the night, fantastic, lemony salmon which still retained it’s true taste, and the cold cucumber pickle-like salad with sesame seeds and seaweed. Fresh and flavoursome.
The largest dish of the evening was soy and ginger grilled chicken with mixed julienne vegetables, rice and a sort of japanese omlette-cum-potato-rosti. I really enjoyed this; the flavours were all good, but it seemed a bit boring and standard to me. Classic flavours that are good, but unsurprisingly so. Not to knock it down too much, the chicken was well cooked, there was a subtle ginger flavour and a sprinkling of sesame seeds (flavour of the evening, it seems). The omlette/potato cake I have researched and discovered is called okonomiyaki, it’s basically a thick savory pancake with potato, other vegatables, and some egg/grated yam to bind it together, served with a sticky sweet sauce on top.
To finish, no dessert, but little bowls of mixed sweets were placed along the tables filled with musk sticks, chocolate freckles and hard rock candy, which made me smile and gave the dinner a frivolous conclusion. If you’re after a meal a bar above the rest while at uni, or have something to celebrate after that 6pm lecture, give Tsubu a go. Japanese food, on campus, alcohol license, natch.

Tsubu Bar on Urbanspoon