Saké’s Bento Box Express Lunch
Review by Celeste Iuliano…”a real stand-out”.
It can be hard to grab a satisfying lunch on the run. The good news is that you can ditch your sad servo sandwich, because Saké Restaurant & Bar has recently launched the Bento Box Express Lunch at their five locations across Melbourne and Sydney.
Part of Australia’s largest dining group, Rockpool Dining Group, Saké upholds the brands’ reputation for quality and innovation. Their bento box is a creative and refined taken on the traditional Japanese workers’ lunch, featuring modern classics prepared with fresh ingredients. The many elements of a bento box naturally guarantee that you’ll be spoilt for choice, however Saké’s version rotates on occasions to keep things interesting!
The Bento Box currently on offer comes with miso soup, sashimi, nasu dengaku (miso-glazed eggplant), popcorn shrimp, and ginger garlic chicken. It’s hard to know where to begin when everything looks so good. Fortunately you’ll start your meal off with a generous serving of warm, slightly salty edamame seasoned with nori chilli. These humble soybeans are a favourite snack in Japan, where people often enjoy them with a good beer at their local izakaya. Saké offers two fantastic Coedo beers on tap to help you wash them down – Shiro, a smooth white beer with a hint of banana, and the sharper Marihana.
Once you’ve whet your appetite, you’re ready for the main event! The nasu dengaku has a deliciously sticky coating with 5 types of sesame seeds, and is a fantastic introduction to the bento box. As for the chicken, it’s sous-vide for 12 hours then flash fried to give the skin a light crisp. Its flavours are delicate, with the mushrooms in the dipping sauce giving it a nice umami. Of course, the seafood is the hero of the meal. The sashimi is fresh, with the salmon being a personal highlight, and the popcorn shrimp is a fun addition – springy and chewy with the light acidity of yuzu juice cutting through the creamy coating.
You’ll definitely be feeling full and happy at this point, but there’s always room for dessert. The final element of the lunch is a delicious scoop of green tea ice-cream, made fresh in-house every 2 days.
This is an express lunch, so of course you can take it away to enjoy in the comfort of your office. But, if you find yourself with some time up your sleeve, there’s no better way to escape these cold winter days than by savouring your meal in the transportive restaurant. The choice is yours.
The Bento Box Express Lunch is available daily from 12pm-3pm at all Saké restaurants
**Celeste Iuliano was a guest of Saké Restaurant & Bar, Flinders Lane, Melbourne. She is a regular writer for The Australia Times Gourmet News, and loves nothing better than checking out the latest menus and tasty morsels around her city, as well as attending awesome events, sharing her experiences with readers. Her last fab review? The Donut & Beer Fest!
Images Courtesy of Thomas Bindley/Saké Restaurant & Bar/Michelle Campbell – Minc Communications/Rockpool Dining Group
Connie Lambeth – The Australia Times Gourmet News – Food/Wine/Events
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**Read on for the Bento Box Express Lunch Menu & Additional Pics…
Sakés Bento Box available daily 12pm – 3pm
tofu / spring onion / wakame / sansho pepper
lightly salted soy beans in the pod / nori powder
shiso / pickled daikon
tempura crunch / shredded chilli
grilled eggplant /den miso
chilli bean mayonnaise
ginger garlic chicken
burnt spring onions
green tea ice cream