I have this tendency to fall in and out of love with cocktail drinking, or perhaps it’s bars in general. While I love going out to eat, I’m almost sometimes more content to prepare myself a gin and tonic at home, or indulge in a bottle of wine with something light and cheerful to nibble on. Too often cocktail and bar snacks are salty, deep fried and fatty. Which isn’t a bad thing in itself…maybe just not too often.
Yukie’s Snack Bar though, has got me wondering if perhaps I should get myself out of the house a bit more.
Tucked out the back of Mr Miyagi in Windsor, his mistress Yukie is entertaining the guests when there’s not quite enough tables, or they just want to stop in for a quick little nibble and tipple.
The cocktail selection is varied, from Hello Kitty sours (lychee, citrus, and egg white) in curvaceous glasses with playful garnishes, to one of my personal favourites, Yukie’s green juice (cucumber, lime, sake and vermouth)…it’s almost kind of healthy!
On the whole though, the cocktails were well-balanced and not too sweet (a pet peeve of mine).
She’s not just all about the booze though. Yukie’s got some great snacks to go with your cocktails; all with a bit of an Asian flair, of course.
The rice paper rolls, soba with master stock poached chicken and lap cheong hoi sin and Japanese grilled eggplant with miso glaze, cucumber and peppery leaves are plump and generously filled. Fresh and light on the palate too, perfect if you’re just looking for something little to keep you going until dinner. I particularly enjoyed the grilled eggplant rice paper roll; but I love miso, so can’t help but be a little biased!
Himalayan salt slab cured kingfish, with quinoa, green chilli, coriander, fennel, apple and lemon is everything. I loved the firmness of the fish, and how refreshing the dish was; the quinoa was slightly crunchy, fun little texture pops and the chilli just the right amount of zing.
The two wagyu dishes, wagyu brisket betel leaf with peanut satay, red chilli, coconut and lime and the wagyu tartare pipe with peanut butter, Korean miso, capers, sesame and spring roll pastry were both good, but not my favourite dishes of the night. I found the pipe a little on the dry side, but I loved the flavours.
However, I adored the flavours in the apple wood smoked salmon tostadita. The contrast between the crunchy tostadita and the meaty salmon was lovely, along with the smack of flavour that came with it.
Top tip, it’s not on Yukie’s bar menu, but Mr Miyagi will sneak you some nori tacos if you ask nicely. I raved on about them last time and god damn. They’re literally still one of my favourite things to eat in Melbourne. Crunchy, gorgeous thick cuts of grilled lush salmon belly, creamy Kewpie and chilli oil (my favourite combo ever). Do it. Don’t think too much about it.