Our dining experience at Shoya was exquisite from beginning to end. An award-winning Japanese restaurant tucked away in a small lane amidst the bustle of Melbourne’s Chinatown, Shoya Nouvelle Wafu Cuisine epitomises everything there is to love about Japanese cuisine – refined simplicity. Seafood, sashimi and wagyu – just to name a few of the fresh and simple ingredients that were carefully selected by the chef, Shigeo Nanaka, to craft an end result that was truly remarkable. Shoya was a dining experience that has left me with unforgettable memories about the magic of food.
The good fat: The demi soup of snapper gave us a warm, full-embodied start to Shoya’s dinner, contrasting nicely with the second course of wagyu tataki marinated in a garlic sweet soy sauce. Biting through the crispy outer cone shell and scattering its pieces within the smooth wagyu was a pleasant texture.
The poached quail egg begged to be mixed into the diced Tasmanian salmon tartar, and resulted in a subtle mellow smoothness, with the barely tangible potato crisps giving it the most elegant crunch. The avocado crab yuzu miso – featuring generous chunks of Hokkaido taraba crab meet wrapped in sliced avo was BY FAR the tastiest sushi I’ve ever had!
The sashimi moriawase was flawless and it was a privilege to enjoy eating the freshest pieces of salmon, tuna, kingfish, scallop and cod from Shoya’s renowned ice ball.
Our grilled fish of the day came from a 300 kg swordfish – just a mere simple grilling of the flesh with a wedge of lemon on the side somehow managed to unlock levels of tender smokiness from fish that I never thought were possible! Every piece just fell apart at the touch and it is definitely one of the highest quality fish dishes I’ve tried.
Just when I thought I’d already surpassed so many lifetime food highlights this evening – the wagyu landed me in true, FOOD HEAVEN. Shoya’s wagyu eye fillet steak is grain-fed for 500 days, and the ultimate result was a steak that hit levels of tenderness I can’t even describe. The black truffle, enoki, shiitake miso sauce gave the delicate earthy backdrop for the wagyu to shine. Along with the crispy 5 grain rice pancake and poached daikon (radish), this dish is one that I will probably reminisce for many years to come. I was genuinely so upset when the last piece disappeared from my plate 😦 (but it just means that I have to come back!)
Our dessert was a rich and fudgy hojicha cake with fresh fig, candied walnuts and caramel. The caramel was surprisingly light and crumbly rather than being sickingly sweet, and the fig provided such a unique, fruity lightness.
The bad fat: Shoya provided an incredible, practically flawless degustation that has re-defined Japanese food for me. Apart from my sadness at our meal coming to an end, the tiniest slight criticism is that the hojicha dessert would’ve been balanced perfectly with the addition some ice cream or the like to counteract the warm fudginess.
CHECK OUT SHOYA’S WEBSITE HERE: https://www.shoya.com.au/
2wofatgirls would like to thank Shoya Nouvelle Wafu Cuisine for the invitation to dine – these opinions are strictly unbiased and were influenced in no way by the collaboration.