We failed restaurant booking 101 on our trip to Melbourne, so we picked a random Japanese place - Shoya.
Overall, I was pretty impressed. The food was tasty and reasonable value. We had sashimi, teriyaki chicken, a salmon dish with roe, and a pork dish. That wasn't quite enough, so we ordered another round of the sashimi and some edamame. The sashimi was really good, and each of the dishes was interesting, the salmon was cooked to perfection and the pork was very tasty. We were all well satisfied by the end, and had also had our fill of house sake (which was ok, not fabulous, but serviceable) and Asahi. At $80 a head, I was happy enough.
I have two quibbles. The dishes all came in large pieces, not at all convenient to share. The sashimi dish came with 3 pieces of each type, which was very annoying for 4 people. Secondly, the wine prices were absurd. The sake prices started around $30 for a 300ml bottle and went well over $150. Sake just isn't that expensive - or more accurately, there is plenty of quite good sake that isn't that expensive. A quick look at the local wine prices showed some equally over-priced wines, although oddly there were a few that were more reasonable.
I'm not entirely sure I'd be prepared to spend the much bigger dollars on their degustation menu. I'd definitely want to hear some reviews that said the food was substantially better than the standard dinner menu to justify the >$100 pp (excluding drinks) price tag.
Also, it's gratitude deja vu today, because we managed to get back to Sydney on a Qantas plane without an engine shutting down - despite another flight turning back because of engine troubles today. So I remain grateful that we managed to dodge failing engines.
I can't finish a post without saying a huge thank you to my mother, David, Sophie and Nerida for making this weekend possible. My family are amazing beings, and I'm always grateful for them.