I wanted to like Misuzu’s, I really did.

Out of all the cafes and restaurants in the Victoria Avenue strip, I thought that Misuzu’s sizeable crowd of alfresco diners signalled that the kitchen must be producing something good. Also, the restaurant was rated second on Urbanspoon for the best Albert Park restaurants.

On entering, I immediately liked the cool, almost Indonesian/sub-tropical dark slatted wood decor and the super-friendly Japanese waitstaff. The menu seemed to be authentic too, with a familiar litany of hot and cold dishes and a selection of sushi and sashimi.

As I was dining alone and not currently eating raw fish, I ordered the small non-vegetarian platter of starters and salads in order to sample the largest variety of food ($18).

The platter was very generous for one person although a bit messily put together given the refined presentation normally evident in Japanese cuisine. I decided to tackle the food in a clockwise direction, starting from twelve o’clock.

The first rule of sushi is that it should be eaten in one bite. So I have no idea why they served wagon-wheel sized nori rolls which disintegrated immediately when picked up with chopsticks. The fillings were also bland and limp and not even a liberal dose of ginger and soy sauce could spice them up.

The first rubber ball was a chicken and tofu patty. Not very exciting, but certainly filling. Again, it needed more of the sweet teriyaki sauce to make less bland. The second rubber ball was a chewy fish patty. Honestly, the only difference between the fish and the chicken that I could discern was the texture.

Next I think there was a calamari salad, as well as some sort of vegetable salad involving pumpkin. It was hard to tell what was what as the viscous sesame dressing for one of the salads ran into the other salads leaving everything a bit of a gloopy mess.

Lastly was a salad involving sodden vermicelli pieces mulched with corn kernels, canned tuna and mayonnaise. I have never encountered a salad, Japanese or otherwise, consisting of these ingredients and frankly I never want to again. Both the texture and taste were so unpleasant that I left almost all of it – and I hardly ever leave food on my plate.

It was all so disappointing. I acknowledge that I didn’t have any of the main dishes or the sushi/sashimi and maybe they are fantastic, but based on my encounter with Misuzu’s I’m not encouraged to return.

Where’s the Beef seemed to have a more positive experience…

  • Misuzu’s, 7 Victoria Ave, Albert Park +61 3 9699 9022