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Pabu Grill & Sake – sneak peak of new menu
Posted on: March 19, 2016, by AMYLEEACTIVEShare:
On Collingwood’s trendiest eating strip, Smith St, fittingly lies Pabu Grill & Sake, with “Pabu” meaning pub in Japanese. And, true to its name, Pabu is refreshingly relaxed, lively, and unpretentious. What isn’t so casual, however, is the seriously gastronomical Japanese–styletapas menu, where the owner, Khoa Nguyen and Chef Anura have benchmarked themselves against Japan’s best of the best Michelin-starred restaurants. And it shows.
A classic sushi bar by day that attracts many locals for lunch (myself included), Pabu transforms into an edgy eatery by night. It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the vast selection of many delicious sounding Izakaya dishes popping out at you; but, luckily for us, Khoa selected Pabu’s highlights from a sneak peak of their brand new menu!
The eco-friendly bamboo grill took the limelight against their trendy dark timber walls, with the chefs serving up a perfectly grilled Sumiyaki set ($18) – 5 mixed skewers, chicken ball, salmon, bean curd, beef, chicken thigh. All were moist and flavoursome, with some Renkon Chips ($6) providing some crunch, with a delicious wasabi mayo.
Fresh fish and meats are sliced at the open bar for all to see, with Gyu Tataki ($14.5) – thinly seared beef, roasted sesame, red ginger mayo, garlic, ginger citrus soy, wasabi snow, served up beautifully.
Hamachi Sashimi ($14.5) – kingfish, yuzu, white radish, jalapeno, spring onion and ginger. Absolutely LOVED the fresh, citrus flavours of these dishes, especially after the more substantial meat set.
Gyu Misoyaki ($14.5) – Beef porterhouse steak marinated in miso, sweet sake, wasabi sea urchin butter, cooked on a charcoal grill.
Fish Tartar ($12) – mixed raw fish, avocado, wasabi mayo, lemon zest, lime mountain caviar, black sesame rice cracker.
Cod Misoyaki ($22.5) (right) – grilled black cod, marinated in miso mirin and sake.
Both unfortunately and fortunately, Khoa was a very generous host who had several dishes come out inperfectsynchronisation (with emphasis on “generous” and “several”) so we had absolutely NO room for dessert (and for a girl with a dessert-focused blog, this was a mean feat). The service was attentive, informative and friendly, absolutely no faults there, granted this was a weeknight and therefore relatively vacant.
All the dishes we had were honestly outstanding, flavoursome works of art – it’s difficult to find any flaw, however it should be noted the dishes are on the smaller side; the portions are more representative of fine dining Japanese. The pricing is reasonable for the quality and presentation, and I would sincerely put Pabu up there with the likes of KoKos and Nobu, but a more affordable, non-pretentious version.
I’ll definitely be returning for my usual Japanese lunchtime cravings, and for dinner, to try the sake (for which they are famous for) and a matcha dessert, this time on a Friday night for its buzzing atmosphere.