Sushi Ten has always been one of my favourite Japanese restaurants and budget eateries around Melbourne. I remember back in the university days when I used to travel all the way from Parkville to Sushi Ten (located in Port Phillip Arcade near Flinders St) and line up outside just to satisfy my cravings for their mix don (combination of tuna and salmon with condiments on top of rice). Sushi Ten opens its doors at 12pm and usually there will be a line of people waiting outside. During peak hour (between 12pm and 2pm), free seats are scarce and many a time I’ve shared tables with strangers. It was already 3pm when I took the photos below so that’s why the restaurant was reasonably empty. They only open for lunch (although lunch ends fairly late – around 4-4:30pm I believe) and are not open for dinner or on weekends.
Sushi Ten is a family owned business and the owners/chefs are always behind the kitchen counter working away. The one thing I always wondered about is how the waiters knew who ordered which dish. No name is taken, no table number is given and if you walk around the corner they can’t even see where you sit. When the store is completely full (including sharing tables with others), the waiters are still able to walk straight up to me with my delicious mix don without even a slight glance in other patrons’ directions. This is even the case when a different waiter brings out my meal to the person who actually took the order. I wonder what their secret is…maybe there’s hidden cameras. O_O
The only menu available is what’s written on the wall and you pay before you eat when you order your meal at the counter. Tea is free but requires self service – tea cups are on a table by the second door and if the tea is running out in the thermos, you can ask the waiter for a filled one. I guess that’s how they cut costs to bring such good value food.
I always order the mix don when I’m here, although their other dishes are pretty good too. I find the mix don to be the best value and has just the right combination of ingredients to suit my tastes. It consists of raw tuna, salmon, marinated and cooked salmon, tobiko (flying fish roe, a large amount of it too), cucumber, avocado, nori (Japanese seaweed) and the usual ginger and wasabi. The generous amount of tuna and salmon are unevenly cut into thick and large pieces which I like because it’s chewy and well, very satisfying when you can shove big pieces of it into your mouth. The rice is warm and if you eat slowly, the bottom of the fish will get slightly cooked. When I first tried this dish, I thought it was weird to have warm rice and slightly cooked fish because it’s not what’s done elsewhere. However, after so many meals here, I’ve really come to like my rice warm. The combination somehow gives it a homey feel.
I love having lunch at Sushi Ten and is one of the few things I really miss after uni. I just hope they can open on the weekends too and maybe for dinner!
Although lunch here seems like a quick meal (it is if you go a bit later in the day), sometimes the wait for seats makes it not quick at all so make sure to leave enough time if you have to go back to work.
Phone: (03) 9639 6296
228 Flinders St 14-15 Port Phillip Arcade, Melbourne 3000