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albert park, casual, japanese and korean, restaurants and cafes, under $20

NOT: Misuzu’s, 7 Victoria Ave, Albert Park

P1060614v1 NOT: Misuzus, 7 Victoria Ave, Albert Park

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.

P1060611v1 NOT: Misuzus, 7 Victoria Ave, Albert Park

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
pixel NOT: Misuzus, 7 Victoria Ave, Albert Park

Discussion

10 comments for “NOT: Misuzu’s, 7 Victoria Ave, Albert Park”

  1. Not sure if you’ve touched upon this subject but I’ve known a few pregnant ladies whose taste buds went a little haywire during their pregnancy. Things they used to like they couldn’t stand and some flavours were very overwhelming.

    What’s your thought?

    Posted by Neil
    Twitter: neil_melbourne
    | February 8, 2011, 10:20 am
    • Hi Neil

      Thanks for your comment. I’d not actually considered the fact that my tastebuds might be doing something different! I haven’t noticed any particular aversion to tastes or smells that I used to like (other than a brief heightened sense of smell in my first trimester). What I have noticed is that I’m more inclined to choose high meat/carb dishes when I dine out, probably because of the energy and iron levels required during pregnancy. And I’m hungry all the time!

      Jetsetting Joyce

      Posted by Jetsetting Joyce | February 8, 2011, 12:12 pm
  2. I was only talking about Misuzus with a friend the other night. It used to be a treasure. It was cheap and the food (and saki) was brilliant. It never featured in any of the restaurant guides I believe because the owners wouldn’t cooperate.
    But recently they sold it. The new owners are ruining it, introducing non Japanese dishes etc. It’s very sad. Sorry you visited the place too late.

    Posted by Ed
    Twitter: tomatom
    | February 8, 2011, 10:36 am
    • Hi Ed

      Thanks for your comment. I was wondering whether I’d missed a trick somewhere with Misuzu’s because I too had heard from others that it was great (plus that high rating on Urbanspoon). New owners shifting away from Japanese food would explain the non-Japanese style salads that I had in my platter.

      Jetsetting Joyce

      Posted by Jetsetting Joyce | February 8, 2011, 12:09 pm
  3. I agree with Ed. Misuzu used to be fantastic and especially before the fire. I went back a few times. It is still ok but like Ed said, the new owners have ruin the taste of old Misuzu. It was such a hidden gem.

    Posted by penny aka jeroxie
    Twitter: jeroxie
    | February 8, 2011, 11:28 pm
  4. Um, as this entry is coming up on the first page of results in a fairly vague google search about Albert Park, I feel compelled to chime in.
    The restaurant is named Misuzu’s after the owner’s wife, and she devises the menu in collaboration with the head chef. She still does this, because the owner hasn’t changed. She has had a couple of children in recent years, though, so maybe the first poster’s comment isn’t far off.

    I’m told that the platters aren’t exactly the best choice, so it’s unfortunate that you chose it, though your rationalization for doing so wasn’t bad.
    I love that tuna vermicelli mayo stuff, though… but then I’ve enjoyed some pretty weird food concoctions in Japan.

    Posted by Josef K | February 16, 2011, 7:02 pm
  5. oh dear … Misuzu used to be my favourite place on a wkend arvo to sit back with friends and the platters and samples of sake and latte … i’ve been out of town for a few years and today was thinking of Misuzus … dang that the quality of cooking has dropped! this is most disappointing – they must have changed cooks/food budgets … the quality of ingredients used to be so high and thats why it was a fave eating spot

    dang it Musuzu! we want a return to your former glory!

    Posted by FoodieCurio | September 18, 2011, 2:22 pm
  6. oh by the way Jetsetting Joyce – Misuzu is a fusion Japanese eatery – thats what we love about it, the fusion style

    thats why theres a combo of flavours
    and for me, the vegetarian platters and hot nibbles have always been the best thing about Misuzu …

    ahhh wonderful memories of sitting back under the tree outside during summer … the perfect spot to bring a deck of cards during the off-peak hours on a wkday … eat, sip, yak with friends

    Posted by FoodieCurio | September 18, 2011, 2:27 pm
  7. Hmmm… I know this discussion is over a year old but I had to chime in. I haven’t been to Misuzu’s for a few years, but I used to visit there very often, when I lived closer. A few of my friends who are japanese would rave about the combination of japanese and western ingredients and we loved the platters. I couldn’t get enough of their salads and finger food.

    I’m sorry to hear that it hasn’t been the same since the fire. I too have wonderful memories of sitting under the lantern filled tree, baby in belly, supping on Tofu, Egg and Onion Curry (incredible!) and then Green Tea ice cream. (I wholely agree about the pregnancy taste change thing).

    I was first introduced to the restaurant by an artist friend who painted the mural that featured over the stairs (Is it still there? I hope so!). Misuzu as a Manga Kitchen Goddess battling off evil radish spirits with her chopping knife! I loved everything about that place. Perhaps it will rise again like the Phoenix…

    Posted by Anna Maria | February 3, 2012, 10:00 pm
  8. Get your facts straight. Ask people sho eat there….. This place has had some decor changes since the fire 2 years ago, but nothing else has changed. Misuzu still owns it, the food is an ecclectic mix of mainly Japanese dishes. The rice paper duck rolls are sensational as is the sushimi. The takeaway food is always consistent and the service very personal. We still love it!

    Posted by Hungry Vic | March 11, 2012, 7:39 am

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