We really try not to throw around words like ‘epic’ and ‘Japanese fried chicken’ in the same sentence. That is, unless they are 100% accurate—so guys, get excited because we’ve found a damn right epic fried chicken joint in the CBD.
Saké Jr has been killing it in the Japanese food game since launching in 2016 and before that, in their more grown up Saké restaurants. Think of Saké Jr as the spot for those nights when you’ve left the office hungry enough to eat your weight in noodles, and cannot think of one thing worse than stepping into the kitchen. We hear you. Between the fried chicken and ramen bowls at this place, you can consider tonight’s dinner sorted #winning.
It’s a laid back affair at Saké Jr, which is definitely what we’re after when hightailing it home after a long day at work. But don’t be fooled into thinking that the food is anything less than top notch and high quality, just as we’ve come to expect from the Saké restaurants. With a menu heaving with delicious Japanese eats, this one is the goods. Highlights are the Japanese fried chicken we mentioned earlier, ramen bowls and poké salad, and we would know, since we’ve taken it upon ourselves to sample the entire menu. You’re welcome, guys.
Saké Jr is the kind of venue that caters for all kinds of diners, whether you’re looking to settle in for a feast, or stop off on the way home for a quick and delicious dinner. Obviously we opted for the feast. First stop—bao buns. These bad boys come in a single bao serve, which means you can taste test every single flavour. The tofu, free range chicken, or miso-glazed pork bao, are all ridic’, and all served with kimchi, pickled cucumber and a sesame yuzu, and gochujang sauce. And we’re alllll about the condiments, people.
At this point, you’ll need to put your strategy hat on, because you’re going to want to tick off all of the other delish menu items. We recommend that you divide and conquer with your mate, so you can order one of everything. This is called being smart.
Next up was the Japanese fried chicken, which comes in 6 and 12 wing serves, or the boneless chicken thigh if you don’t have the time (or patience) to battle the bones.
Back the wings with a big bowl of ramen. You can choose between soy chicken, miso or abura broth, tofu, free range chicken or miso-glazed pork, and then add ramen noodles. All of the bowls are served with wakame, pickled bamboo, spring onions and a free-range egg and you can spice things up with chilli oil and tograshi at the table. It’s safe to say that you’ll be absolutely stuffed silly (in a good way) once you’ve tackled this bad boy.
If you reeeally need to unwind after work—all of you do, no doubt—they also have drinks list, aptly named ‘the hard stuff’. Here you’ll find a few of your old friends, Japanese beer, wine, sake and of course, a couple of delicious saké spiked cocktails. There definitely won’t be any judgey eyes from us if you dive in head first, even on a Monday. In fact—bonus points if you head down between 5pm – 7pm for the $5 beer and wine happy hour.
We should also mention that these guys are open for lunch, so you can take full advantage of their ridiculously convenient grab and go menu, and now that we're headed for winter, the ramen and fried chicken is available all day too.
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Image credit: Iris Tian