Sakura Inn, Camberwell

Sakura Inn is a small Japanese restaurant located in Camberwell, about a ten minute drive from Camberwell Junction, near the intersection of Camberwell and Toorak Road. I visited this restaurant with a couple of friends on a Sunday night, and was quite surprised at how busy it was for the whole time we were there.

The interior design of Sakura Inn is similar to most Japanese restaurants, with a couple of cushioned booths to the window side and long wooden benches and tables for the rest, similar to what is at Ajisen Ramen. There were lantern like lights hanging from the ceiling which was a nice touch for authenticity, and the chopstick holders were an assortment of designs that were really cute. The staff were friendly, though at times it took awhile to catch their attention, and the waiting time for our food was about average, around ten - fifteen minutes.

Between three of us we decided on a Salmon Sashimi plate ($12 for 9 pieces) to share, and also an noodle soup dish each; the Beef Udon in soy sauce soup ($10), the Pork Ramen in miso soup ($10.50) and the Vegetarian Ramen with tofu in soy sauce soup ($9). The sashimi was nice and fresh and didn't have chewy tendon, and came on a bed of thinly sliced radish.

The beef udon dish was very flavoursome, and the beef wasn't dry or tough, but did have a nice elasticity to it. The udon itself wasn't too soft or chewy, and despite being a soy sauce base, the soup wasn't too salty and didn't leave you having to constantly drink water. 

The pork ramen dish was one of the recommended dishes on the menu, and was quite enjoyable. The miso based soup wasn't too heavy but did become a bit oily by the end. There was a good variety of vegetables that I wasn't expecting, including bok choy, bamboo shoots, broccoli, carrot and onion, on top of the usual bean shoots. The egg yolk was completely cooked though, and it would've been nice to have a little more elasticity to the ramen. The pork itself was presented in very thin slices that went well with the ramen and the variety of vegetables, and ensured it wasn't too dry as it was so thin.

The vegetarian noodle dish also had the soy sauce base (for the pork ramen and vegetarian dishes, you could choose whether you wanted a soy sauce or miso soup base), and again, it wasn't too salty. There was a good variety of vegetables similar to what was mentioned above, though as my friend pointed out, there should have been more tofu in the dish, as it was specifically mentioned on the menu.

All of the soup noodle dishes came in large bowls that weren't very deep, which was great presentation wise and easier to eat. The portions were filling in the way that Japanese food usually is, so leaves you not still feeling hungry, but not bloated at the same time. There was a good proportion of the soup broth to noodle so you weren't left with too much soup at the end, or had too little to go with it all.

I'd like to visit Sakura Inn again to try some of their other dishes, as there's quite a good range of donburi, bentos, entrees and chef specials, as well as desserts. We were actually going to order some Japanese tea cakes for dessert on the night, but unfortunately they had run out, which was a little disappointing. A nice little Japanese restaurant, but if you're going in a group, it's best to book in advance as it does become quite busy, and there isn't a lot of tables.

Sakura Inn Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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