You want excellent quality Japanese food, very reasonable prices and a top-notch location and I’ll tell you Hibari Japanese restaurant is where to go. Running with the same successful formula for many years (maybe 10 or more) in the same location on Malvern Road in South Yarra, Hibari serves up dish after dish of all the usual suspects that you desire.
Very unassumingly positioned with no outside seating, which is no problem for The Chommery and won’t be one for you either. You haven’t come here to spend many $$$, ogle multi-million dollar fit outs or be served by a person wearing oversized Ray Bans (without lenses) with a snake tattoo crawling on to his neck from underneath his top-button done-up collar. You have come for GOOD – WHOLESOME- INEXPENSIVE food. Do those places still exist in Melbourne? Yes!
Basic, self explanatory interior which forms a very cosy seating arrangement that only holds 30 people at any given time. It’s standard to see a continual influx of ‘in the know’ locals picking up take-away all through the night.
Edamame Beans ($5.00) – boiled green soybeans. Served salted and warm. In case you don’t know the correct way of eating these. You suck dem beans out and throw away the wrapping.
One bottle of sake (or more) always goes down as a great companion to any Japanese meal. The regular house blend, slightly heated is my standard choice.
The Moriwase is the combination plate of sushi and sashimi ($24.00). Fresh fish, perfectly made and a simple yet effective presentation. Top suggestion to share between 2 or 3 people. The real chommers should ensure to smoosh up that wasabi+ginger+soy to make a great sauce to coat your pieces in.
The large Califonia roll with prawn, vegetables and mayonnaise ($10.00) Your standard roll – no complaints.
Spicy inside out tuna roll ($10.00) Very aesthetically pleasing presentation. The addition of the fish roe and the sesame seeds on the outside provide for something slightly different.
Yakiniku – sliced beef in Japanese BBQ sauce ($14.00) For the price I shouldn’t complain. As for the readers, they want the truth or they won’t trust The Chommery anymore. The beef is very edible, but not of an amazing standard. Therefore, it is an order if you want – but I’m not saying it’s a must.
Good Japanese main courses are hard to come by. Although, The Tori teriyaki – chicken in teriyaki sauce ($14.00) is an exception. The chicken is tender and perfectly coated with the sweet teriyaki. A side of rice goes well with this to lap up the sauce. Further, at the price you are paying the serve is far from stingy. Definitely order to share with 2 + diners.
Minutes from Chapel Street and just down the road from Hawksburn Village (Malvern) placing Hibari in a prime location. Note: It’s often difficult to notice; it’s almost opposite the McDonalds.This is my favorite spot for local Japanese dinner. You can get a table rockin’ up, but to ensure you get one, it’s best to book ahead.
Chommery Approved Suggested times to visit Hibari:
- Casual relaxed weeknight (except Monday)
- Wholesome food with NO pretentiousness
- Post/pre movie at Jam Factory (Yes, it’s worth driving away from Chapel Street)
- Lining the stomach before a night out on the booze and/or start with BYO @ $4.00 per bottle
The Important Details…
Noise: When full quite loud
Bookings: Yes, via phone
Suitable for: All
Price: $20 – $25 per head
My View: An oldie but a goodie
Address: 479 Malvern Road, Prahran
Phone: (03) 9827 0155