We’re very happy to announce that our restaurants have recently been featured in online magazine and guide to all things cool, Concrete Playground. In the article, titled '12 Luxe Melbourne Spots You Can Enjoy For Less Than $50 This Summer', Unabara was featured as a recommendation.
It’s lovely to see our hard work paying off – with an updated menu and an optimised website in development, we’ve been busy at Unabara over the last few months, and a glowing review from Concrete Playground seems to indicate it’s all paying off. Phew!
If you’d like to take a closer look at the article, you can read the full thing here. And, if you want to skip the article entirely and get straight down to the nitty gritty – that is, booking a table for tonight at Unabara – you can find our contact page here.
A Japanese seafood restaurant – in Melbourne? Surely such a niche establishment could not succeed. Would the infamously discerning food lovers of Melbourne take to the lobster ramen? Would they wolf down portions of lobster rolls and freshly shucked oysters with glee, or would they swerve the cuisine entirely? Would the flavours that were so loved and heralded in Japan translate as well across the sea? Opening an Unabara seafood restaurant in Melbourne was always going to be a risk. So why did we do it (twice!), and how did we succeed?
Well, Unabara (translating roughly to mean ‘of the sea’ in Japanese) was always going to be a little bit of a square peg in a round hole. We never set out to simply emulate popular Japanese seafood and serve it up to Melbourne while hoping for the best; we wanted to be the best. And so we decided instead to create something entirely new, by combining flavours from east and west, north and south.
Feeling too hungry to read on? Check out our Melbourne Central menu!
A unique seafood menu
Take, for example, the menu at our store over at the luxurious Emporium complex in Melbourne’s CBD. We source our oysters and lobsters from all Western Australia, South Australia, and Queensland – always endeavouring to serve locally sourced produce – and we pair our seafood with European or American-inspired sauces, while staying true to our Japanese roots.
A great example is one of our specials – the grilled half South Australia rock lobster. We served this tasty fella with beer battered fries, a side salad, and we offer two choices of sauce, which together represent both east and west. First up you have mornay sauce with mashed potato. If you’re unfamiliar, mornay sauce is a type of béchamel sauce with added Gruyère, Emmental cheese, or white Cheddar. It is rich, it is creamy, it is delicious, it is fantastically French.
Your other sauce option is distinctly more eastern; a garlic buttery sauce containing a delicate splash of kombu soyu – a type of soy sauce with the savoury flavouring of soy and kelp, and thick in texture with a comparatively low salt content for soy sauce. This makes our kombu soyu a versatile, tastebud-tantalising sauce that will bring any dish to life.
Foodies and innovators combined
The complimentary pairing of eastern and western food preparation is evident all the way through our menu, apparent in the options for how we serve our lobster to the way we present our freshly shucked oysters. Our famous lobster rolls, to give you another example, can come New York style – with diced celery, red onion, mayo and chives – or, if you prefer, you can hop across the Pacific in your mind’s eye and instead dine Tokyo style – with nori, avocado, tobiko, cucumber, and wasabi mayonnaise. Either way, you’re in for a treat.
So there you have it – our vision laid out. We wanted to blend different kind of cooking from around the world and to experiment with the myriad flavours the international lobster scene has to offer, in order to present to the Melbourne public one of the very best seafood restaurants in the land. Coupled with an extensive list of drinks which includes many types of plum wine, sake, Japanese beer and Japanese whisky, Unabara’s internationally inspired menu continues to delight the hungry people of Melbourne every day. Don’t believe us? Pop on over and we’ll prove it!
At Unabara, we pride ourselves on serving our diners with some of the very best oysters Melbourne has to offer. However, it’s not fair of us to take all the credit. Yes, we do serve our freshly shucked pacific oysters in any one of nine different, equally delicious styles, ranging from richly savoury and herbaceous to creamy and mild and delicately salty, but still – even though we can cook up a storm, at Unabara we wouldn’t get far if we weren’t able to seek out the best oysters in Melbourne. The simple fact is, the better the oysters we use in our ingredients, the better meals we can serve to you!
Feeling too hungry to read on? Check out our Unabara Emporium menu!
Melbourne is brilliant for seafood. The city is famed for its culinary delights, and its lobster, fish and oyster scene is no less song-worthy. Now, of course we’d love to see you dine in one of our restaurants, but we understand that sometimes you want to satisfy your seafood cravings at home – besides, cooking can be half of the fun! If you’re looking to find some of the best oysters Melbourne can offer you, here are a trio of delightful seafood sellers that can provide with delicious and wallet-friendly goodness.
Where to buy oysters in Melbourne: Our guide!
Located at South Melbourne Market, Aptus Seafood is a favourite of ours for all manner of marine foodstuffs. Since 1969 this local fishmonger has been serving the city with its great range of fresh seafood. You can find everything here; cooked crayfish, prawns, Tasmanian salmon, and of course, freshly shucked oysters. The oysters sold here are affordable and tasty, and we always enjoy a trip to Aptus Seafood after a long morning spent browsing the market for exciting new ingredients for our menu.
Only a hundred metres from Aptus Seafoods, also sharing the limelight at South Melbourne Market, you can find South Melbourne Seafoods. An amazing 98% of their stock is fished from Australian waters, making this the perfect spot to stop by if you’re looking to pick up some mouth-watering ingredients while also doing your bit to help the local economy. If that wasn’t enough, South Melbourne Seafoods also places a special focus on sustainable fishing – just like we do at Unabara!
A little while away across the city, Queen Victoria Market is one of Melbourne’s most vibrant spots, with such a vast array of food stalls that it is, frankly, bonkers. Seafood and Oyster Spot offers all manner of fresh seafood, including shellfish, filleted and whole fish, and of course, our dear lovely oysters. Popping over to Seafood and Oyster Spot makes for a perfect finale to a busy afternoon soaking up the sights, sounds and smells of the boisterous and brilliant Queen Victoria Market.
Fresh Oysters: Melbourne Does Them Best
Between those three market stalls and, of course, our own two seafood restaurants, you should find all of your culinary and maritime needs are met. We love our freshly shucked oysters, we love our grilled lobster, and we’re passionate about serving you meals that will make your tastebuds sing. If you’re looking to find the best oysters in Melbourne, you know where to go!
Are you searching for the best ramen in Melbourne? Japanese ramen is a massively popular meal in the city, and there are a whole host of establishments that serve excellent quality meals. Here at Unabara, we not only serve some of the best ramen in Melbourne, but we go one further: at Unabara inside Melbourne Central we serve up mouth-watering Japanese ramen with our famous Boston lobster!
Hungry yet? Jump straight to our menu!
Perhaps lobster ramen is already your favourite dish (in which case, why are you still reading this and not eating?!), but it’s likely that lobster and ramen is a new combination to you. The reason for our recipe is simple. We want to combine some of the very best aspects of both Japanese and Western cuisine, and so we have created dishes that mix traditional Japanese seafood with European flavours.
One of the things we are most proud of at Unabara is our ability to provide responsibly sourced seafood. Whether or not we are consuming ethical seafood will be a hugely important question in 2019, and across the world it will be the responsibility of restaurants and restaurant-goers alike to ensure that we are all doing our bit to help our oceans heal and grow back to their full natural beauty.
On average, per year every Australia scoffs down around 25 kilograms of seafood. Demand for delicious seafood is constantly on the rise, and while that is a brilliant thing for the nation’s tastebuds, it’s important that we keep an eye on the status of our precious oceans. 80% of the worlds fishing stock is over-fished and over-exploited, and if things continue at the same rate, in 50 years we could run out entirely. Ethical, sustainably sourced seafood is crucial to changing this outcome!
Overfishing can result in areas of sea to be deprived of fish almost entirely, and in addition to the impact on wildlife this can mean entire towns and communities run out of their main source of income. It is possible for this trend to be reversed, but it will take a little teamwork and effort.
If you love responsibly sourced seafood as much as we do at Unabara (a lot), here are a few quick and easy ways that you can reduce your impact on the world’s oceans.
By opting to eat seafood from sustainable fisheries, that sends a message throughout the whole industry that people who love seafood want to see a real change in the way fish are caught. When big fishing companies see this in action, they will feel increasingly compelled to change their business plans and ensure that they are responsible towards the environment.
If everybody is able to make these small changes in their lives – which really shouldn’t take much effort at all! – we can all ensure that our oceans are healthy and thriving and full of life, and we can all enjoy delicious, responsibly sourced seafood well into the future.
Lobster & Oyster Bar
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