Whilst there has been considerable confusion online about whether Shinbashi Yakiniku at Underwood is newly opened from Melbourne or if it's under new management. I can confirm to readers that through my unrivaled sleuthing skills, it has not changed management and has been open in the same complex along Logan road for over 10 years. What has changed however, is their new marketing team, WeCollective, who organised a marketing launch party last week, which I was privileged enough to go to.
Having been roughly five years ago, they've maintained their buffet offering on Monday, Tuesday and Friday with prices having gone up from $35pp to $45pp since I came last time. Reservations are essential as I've heard that it gets booked out quite often.
We were lucky enough to score seating in the private dining area, with their no shoes policy, you may want to come equipped with socks if you wanted a seat here. I loved the wooden theme to the place, especially accentuated with the bamboo separators, it definitely felt like I was in Japan again.
Starting off, we had some juice, edamame, kimchi and chicken broth. The kimchi was probably the sweetest I had ever tasted before. The edamame was fresh and delightful and the chicken broth was warm and soothing to the soul.
First of our cooked starters was the kaarage chicken. The taste and texture was reminiscent of Taiwanese salt and pepper chicken bites with a light starchy potato batter.
Of course all Japanese meals should come with Takoyaki, These were freshly fried and delicious with chunks of octopus inside each of the balls.
Before long our bbq was set up with hot charcoal to keep us toasty and warm.
Always starting off at the head of the ox, we began our meal with some premium wagyu ox tongue. As expected with tongue, it had a chewier texture than you would expect from a steak, but coupled with the melty fat content of wagyu, it was a pleasure to devour.
Our next dish was pork. We had both pork belly and thinly sliced pork jowl shaped into a rose. The pork belly was fairly fatty but fried to a crisp, it had quite a crunchy texture. My favourite would definitely be the pork jowl with the fatty tissue ingrained in the meat which results in a far more homogenized mouthfeel.
Next beef dish was a combination of three cuts, oyster blade, short rib and marbled beef which was shaped like a flower. All cuts were amazingly marbled and textured wonderfully. Of the three, my favourite would have to be the soft and tender short rib which was grilled to a perfect bloody rare.
Interluding with vegetables for balance, favourites around the table included the shiitake mushrooms and onions which soaked up the meat juices well.
Next we had some giant oysters, and being the wonderful girlfriend that I am, I offered mine to Adam, who was very happy about this. Fresh and tasty, he enjoyed both of them immensely.
Best and last meats of the day was the thick cut wagyu sirloin. Compared to the other dishes, the texture was definitely far more meatier and firmer but still maintained a melty smooth mouthfeel. A memorable cut to end our meal.
Rounding off we had the nabeyaki udon to share. Tender and soft, I liked the udon, the egg was a little overdone, but the prawn was fresh and tasty. The homey dashi broth was definitely a winner too.
Washing the amazing meal down with some sweet plum wine, it made for a really memorable dinner indeed.