It’d be easy to walk past Satsuki every day and never see it as anything more than your average suburban sushi joint. But look closer and you’ll notice a steady stream of customers going in and, on balmy nights, sitting outside enjoying the home-style Japanese cuisine.
While the surroundings are hardly memorable, the quality and range of the meals are. You’ll find the well-known Japanese dishes as well as a regular rotation of blackboard specials to tempt you away from your usual – succulent thrice-cooked pork belly with lotus roots, seared duck tataki or a hearty serving of translucent sweet potato noodles with sesame beef.
The service is friendly and energetic and the food comes out remarkably quickly for a tiny open kitchen. There are a few varieties of Japanese beer, or try the limited range of plum wine and sake. It’s a cosy fifteen-seater restaurant so expect to make friends with your neighbours! As Satsuki is both popular and small, bookings are essential, especially on weekends, but if you miss out, you can always get takeaway.
458 Waverley Road, Malvern East
(03) 9572 0200, www.satsukicafe.com