154 Ryrie Street
Ph: 03 5229 3660
Melbourne is such an exciting place to eat in – there’s so many options available, from different cultures, trendy new dining experiences and places where you can still get a good feed in the wee hours of the morning. But when it comes to really, really, consistently good, reasonably priced sushi, open until a decent hour, there have only been a few places I’ve come across that were in the same league as my beloved Sushi 8 in Geelong. I’m sure there’s plenty out there that I just haven’t found, but there were many occasions when I sat in my Richmond flat at 8pm craving a good inside out roll and I knew getting one would involve a bit of searching. Often, even when I did find a place open late, the rice would be stodgy or the fish would be less than fresh.
If you’re a Geelong resident reading this, there’s a good chance you’re either thinking that I’m spot on and agree that Sushi 8 is our little town’s superior provider of Japanese cuisine; or you completely disagree and bat for the Fujisan or increasingly popular Hi Sushi team. Yes, the debate continues over which venue is better but after about 10 years of great experiences in the tiny red and black dining room, I feel confident in claiming that Sushi 8 is the best.
I started this post with the title as simply “The best sushi in Geelong”, and was going to discuss each venue then come to a conclusion, but then I thought, why am I bothering doing a list? I have had enough gluggy rice and inconsistency from the various Hi Sushi outlets, and the few stores that have begun to open in Highton and Belmont cannot compare when it comes to freshness and quality of ingredients. When Sushi 8 opened all those years ago, we made the switch from Fujisan to this new store just three doors down, and we’ve been enjoying friendly service and consistently good meals ever since.
Tendon – deep fried prawns and vegetables on rice ($10.50)
Light, crispy batter over big fresh prawns and a good selection of vegetables. This is tempura how it should be – you get that delicious crunch without the greasy, fatty feeling afterwards.
As part of the sushi set ($8.60 from the lunch menu) – mixed sushi
Sushi 8 offer a selection of their regular menu items, as well as a few special extras, at excellent prices during the lunch service (from 12pm-4pm). The sushi set is great value – filling, satisfying, and the fish used on this plate is always clean and fresh.
As part of the sushi set – miso soup (or $2.40 single serve)
As part of the sushi set – seafood stick
Usually just the name “seafood stick” would put me off but this “crab meat”, although possessing that processed look, is actually really tasty and it too is covered in that delicious light batter.
The place where my love affair with gyoza began. These pan fried dumplings are plump and juicy and come with a tangy, vinegar-y sort of soy dipping sauce.
Chicken teriyaki – grilled chicken cooked in teriyaki sauce served with salad ($13.20 – rice extra, approx $2.00)
Good quality chicken in a flavoursome teriyaki sauce. The simple salad that comes with most of the menu items is also worth a mention; a good little refreshing serve that cuts through the heavier flavours, with a dollop of that yummy Japanese mayo.
Sushi Bento Box – california rolls, nigri sushi, beef teriyaki, spring rolls, tatsuta age, salad and miso soup ($14.60 when dining in, 10% off when takeaway)
Probably my favourite thing to get when it’s takeaway night, this generous box has a good selection of different flavours, textures and hot and cold items – and I love the way the bento boxes at Sushi 8 aren’t taken up by a massive serve of rice in one of the little compartments, unlike at some other Japanese restaurants.
We’ve been going to this restaurant for a long time now, for both dining in and for takeaway, and the quality has been consistent, the prices have stayed very reasonable and the service is generally friendly and welcoming, especially if you are a regular. The debate will live on over who takes the crown for Geelong’s best sushi, but personally, I reckon this is where it’s at.