Yu-u 137 Flinders Lane Melbourne

Yu-u. What a funny name. And one of the best lunch deals in the hidden laneways of Melbourne.

There’s nothing to mark the entrance to this sleek Japanese restaurant except a steel warehouse door with peeling salmon-pink paint. Step down some concrete steps and it opens out into a dimly serene wood and stone room, with a large sushi bar taking up most of the space.

For lunch the restaurant only offers a set menu: a choice of a main meal, from seafood to meat to tofu, accompanied by a bowl of rice, soup, the appetiser of the day, a small dish of pickled vegetables and just for fun, a deftly sliced orange segment ($18). Sadly they no longer serve their hand-made soba noodles as part of the set lunch menu.

As you’d expect from the Japanese, the dishes are carefully presented on a lacquered tray, with each dainty part held in a different porcelain or ceramic dish. Our table gave the thumbs up to the sashimi and pork belly main dishes. The serving of salmon and tuna sashimi was fresh, colourful and generous, while my pork belly with Japanese BBQ sauce was just the thing to fire off my tastebuds on a cold day. Service was quiety unobstrusive and efficient – we were seated, served and billed in an hour.

I’ve not been to the restaurant during dinner, but my lunch experience has definitely encouraged me to try it. What’s your experience been of dinner at Yu-u?

For other great value lunch sets in the city, try Cafe Vue and Shoya.

Yu-U on Urbanspoon