PROFILE BY BEST RESTAURANTS
Looks like a restaurant, feels like a restaurant, but Izakaya Chuji isn't quite a restaurant. An izakaya is something like the Japanese version of a pub or tapas bar. It's a place to sit around sharing food, having a drink and a good ole yarn. The South Melbourne Izakaya Chuji is a smarter and more spacious sibling of the city restaurant, though the city has long been popular as a casual spot for students and businessmen. South Melbourne has taken over from another Japanese restaurant on the same site: it looks modestly glamorous, with carpeted floors, pale grey-green walls, blonde wood chairs, and rosewood-toned tables and sushi counter.
It's all very good-humoured and easy-going, but with a slightly dressed up mood. Because of the nature of izakaya, in the evening the menu consists of lots of small dishes. Try the tato yaki (octopus in batter), gyu sashi (rare beef with ponzu dressing) or salmon yaki zakana (salted and grilled). There are larger dishes, of course, and there's no reason you couldn't have a more formal meal. At lunch time bento boxes are most popular, especially with local businessmen; and the sushi bar is a great spot to perch and eye chef Yoshi preparing sashimi and sushi. In short, a friendly and reasonably priced place.