Izakaya Kuuraku

131-135 Bourke Street, Melbourne
03 8592 6965


  • Seared Wagyu Nigiri
  • Tsukimi Tsukune
  • Gyu Kushi
  • Ebi Crunchy Roll
  • Yaki-niku Don
  • Beef Stew

The Good

It was off to a fiery beginning Seared Wagyu Nigiri. Served raw and seared right at your table, these thin, immaculate slices of beef were exceptionally fresh. The slight charring ensured a pleasant depth of flavour, while a drip of soy sauce tied together the meaty flavours with the sushi rice underneath.

The highlight of our meal must be the Tsukimi Tsukune, chicken skewers. The mince was well seasoned and offered up plenty of flavour. The almost bouncy feedback coupled with the juicy protein made for an amazing experience, and when coated with a raw egg yolk, this was undoubtedly the dish to get. The Spicy Mayo version definitely kicked up the heat and offered an exceptionally appetising experience.

We also enjoyed the Gyu Kushi, wagyu skewers. The simply seasoned salt and pepper allowed you to truly appreciate the gorgeous flavour of fresh, aptly fatty beef and made for a very appetising treat. Meanwhile, the marinated teriyaki skewers offered up a sweeter experience. However, all were missing the signature charcoal grilled flavour that characterises a traditional Japanese yakitori.

The Ebi Crunchy Roll didn’t disappoint either. Stunningly presented, the prawns were fresh and juicy. Drizzled with plenty of spicy mayo and teriyaki sauce, this Western-influenced sushi roll delivered a full-on flavour hit with plenty of crunch. Tasty!

We rounded off our meal with the Yaki-niku Don. The grilled beef was sliced thin and offered a slightly chewy and almost bouncy texture. The beef flavour was forward and pleasant, well combined with a beautifully runny soft boiled egg and served on a warm bed of rice. A warm and hearty bowl that definitely satisfied our hunger.

The Mediocre

The Beef Stew didn’t quite impress unfortunately. The beef was most definitely overdone in parts, leading to some dry, stringy and chewy bits that was far from the melt in your mouth experience we were after. However, the thick sauce of the stew was simply delicious, plenty of beef juices and flavour mixed with an aromatic, tomato base. Make sure you order a rice to go with this flavoursome sauce!

The Bad

Service was also extremely tardy. At one stage, we waited between 20 to 30 minutes for the next dish. Given the nature of izakaya and the small serving sizes, waiting this long between each dish is simply unacceptable, which turned our dinner into a long, dreary affair.

The Verdict

We really wanted to like this place. Unfortunately there are definitely a couple of teething issues that are preventing it from true greatness.

The timeliness of service, simple execution issues coupled with small-ish portions that are not exactly affordable were all pitfalls that prevented us from loving it experience at Izakaya Kurarkuu.

Would Penguin Eat Again?

We won’t hesitate to stop by for more┬áTsukimi Tsukune.

Penguineats was invited to dine at Izakaya Kurarkuu.

Penguin Rates

Izakaya Kuuraku Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato