After my previous post on dinner at the high-end Japanese restaurant Shoya, many people recommended that I try their more affordable but equally delicious lunch menu. So, to take advantage of a quiet day at the office, I joined my friends J and A for the $28 Shoya lunch set.

Shoya Japanese 25 Market Lane Melbourne

You get a LOT of food for your money. Our long lunch began with a small dish of pickled vegetables and what I think was slices of eel. Then we dipped our spoons into a ceramic ramekin of the most sexy silken baked savoury egg custard I’ve ever had.

Shoya Japanese 25 Market Lane Melbourne

Next up was a cube of chilled bean curd bathed in a soy broth and piled with ginger and spring onions plus a precisely sliced set of sashimi resting on a frozen orange hemisphere (I noticed that the grain on the fish was exactly symmetrical and cut in such a way to reveal in pretty half-moon shapes).

Shoya Japanese 25 Market Lane Melbourne

Shoya Japanese 25 Market Lane Melbourne

For ‘mains’ we received a large plate of featherlight prawn and vegetable tempura; a small serving of grilled fish and a mini bowl of slithery udon floating with seaweed. Actually, I should clarify – in fact I ate three bowls of udon as J and A were full at this point. Never one to let good food go to waste and having been to the gym that morning, I went to work on the noodles while they watched in amazement and suggested I try competitive eating as an alternative career.

Shoya Japanese 25 Market Lane Melbourne

Finally for dessert, a generous scoop of refreshing green tea icecream presented in a pretty leaf-shaped dish.

Having now gone for lunch and barbecue dinner at Shoya, I would definitely recommend lunch as the more wallet-friendly yet still delicious option – plus with that amount of food you’re probably not going to need dinner that night, even if you haven’t eaten three bowls of udon.

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