Izakaya Jiro – The Overview…
One thing we have to say is that Japanese dining in Melbourne is top-notch right now, with Izakaya Jiro’s mouthwatering dishes being no exception. Skewers, sashimi, fish – they’ve got everything you’d expect and it all tastes so good!
Food: Wagyu Beef Tataki, Sashimi Moriawase, Kushiyaki Combo, Grilled Fish of the Day, Ika Yaki, Tofu Salad, Wagyu Hotpot
Walking into Izakaya Jiro’s small restaurant, there’s such a classic feel to the venue. They could have told me they opened last week, or that they’d been open 20 years and I would have believed them either way. They’ve actually been a feature on Glenferries Road for a number of years now and we loved the mix of the cute bar seating (for when you want a quick bite) and more formal dining seating options. There’s lots of dark wood, Japanese art and almost a whole wall of Japanese liquor. There’s a hidden little outdoor courtyard at the back, which could offer an almost private, al fresco dining experience.
We started with a couple of their creative cocktails, including the brand new Red Koi – a really fruity number that leaves just a slight sour hint on the tongue. It’s a great drink for the summer. We accompanied these with a delicious selection of dishes from their menu, starting with the wagyu tatiki and the sashimi. The wagyu was adorable with the tiny egg on top; as soon as I saw this beautiful plating I knew we were in for a good night. The wagyu was sliced super thin and it was such a simple dish to eat.
The sashimi consists of the classics: tuna, salmon and kingfish, plus two rotating white fish, (I’m going to be honest, one of them was swordfish and my phone has autocorrected the other one to dorian – guesses in the comments please for that one). The pieces were small and bitesized, an while the whole plate was tasty, the tuna really stood out to us.
We then moved on to the mixed skewers (minus the prawn), again these were nice and small, so easy to sample a few. The food is affordable, especially the lighter bites so the smaller size is definitely a positive as it means you can try more! We loved the traditional chicken, and the glaze was great – lots of flavour but not too sweet or sticky. However, the house made chicken balls were amazing, and highly recommended, they just melted on our tongue. We closely followed this with the squid, which was so loaded with toppings, and so typically Japanese. This was quite an indulgent dish – perhaps a little too rich for my tastes – but it did work very well, with a gorgeous ponzu sauce that just takes the edge off of the creaminess.
For our main dishes we tried the fresh organic tofu salad, kingfish cheek and the waygu hotpot. We loved that the salad had a gluten free dressing (made in house), and it was a lovely light nutty flavour – definitely something I would enjoy on a salad at home. The kingfish cheek was a really special dish and we loved that it was cooked and served so simply to let the beautiful flavour of the fish shine through. I actually think it’s the first time I’ve tried kingfish cooked and I was glad that they didn’t over-complicate this.
The wagyu hotpot was served very traditionally with the raw egg. It was a meaty dish, with that umami taste featuring strongly in the broth. The broth was packed with enoki mushrooms, cabbage and noodles making it a really filling dish. (I also feel I should point out that the mains aren’t small in size). We weren’t sure how we felt about the raw egg, but we loved that they serve it this way and want to share the traditional way of eating their food with people. We finished up the evening with a house made pannacotta and a yuzu sorbet. Both were ideal light bites to perfectly round off the meal!
Address: 830 Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn
Mon 12:00pm to 3:00pm and 6:00pm to 10:30pm
Tue 12:00pm to 3:00pm and 6:00pm to 10:30pm
Wed 12:00pm to 3:00pm and 6:00pm to 10:30pm
Thu 12:00pm to 3:00pm and 6:00pm to 10:30pm
Fri 12:00pm to 3:00pm and 6:00pm to 10:30pm
Sat 12:00pm to 3:00pm and 6:00pm to 10:30pm
Parking: We found a street park just around the corner. There’s a fair few permit zones nearby, so be careful, but most of the streets had at least some non-permit parking
Getting here on PT: Alight the 16 tram at Barker’s Road and it’s just a couple of minutes walk, or it’s about 7 minutes from Glenferrie Station.
Disclaimer: We dined as guests of Izakaya Jiro, Hawthorn. Reviews are honest and based on our own personal experiences. We cannot guarantee things at a cafe won’t change including, but not limited to, menu items and opening hours, so please confirm any details with the venue before visiting.