O Bento, Bento, wherefore art thou Bento? Never fear Juliets, you’ll find O-Bento in a little lane between King and William just off Collins. Under exposed concrete ceilings and piping that looks like a converted bomb shelter but provides that Melbourne edge, you’ll find the long communal tables and stools filled and an office crowd milling around the counter like hungry savages desperately waiting their turn to order tucker.
And service the starving they do with most of the typical dons, udon, ramens and sushi you’d find in a Japanese quick food café. Katsu, fried crumbed chicken cutlets are a winner, well drained, crunchy and the meat is moist. The accompanying curry might be unfamiliar to those used to the Sydney types, the potatoes and carrot provide a milder taste and colour compared to the Golden Curry. Also a diversion from up north is the katsu-don, replacing that eggy, onion, soy and mirin sauce is a generous dousing of tonkotsu BBQ sauce with a vibrant scrambled egg underneath. Though both pleasant.
Not exactly the Japanese I know, but definitely a place that I’ll go back to for lunch. Til then, good bye, Good bye! Parting is such sweet sorrow, that I shall say good bye till it be morrow.
3 / 5 yums!
Where? Church Lane, 500 Collins Street, Melbourne, VIC
What? Dons $8.50