MELBOURNE | Brunswick Market is easy to overlook, but it’s a great asset to the neighbourhood. Walk inside and you’ll find butchers catering to the diverse communities that live here, a great fishmonger, a Turkish spice shop, and the fantastic Russell’s Fruit & Veg.
Sadly, several of the retailers inside didn’t survive 2020, including Himalayan Cafe (their wonderful momos will be missed). In a silver lining, however, the space that did house the cafe, is now home to Tochi Deli.
The Japanese cafe was opened by a lovely Japanese couple in March, and their food is outstanding. Tochi specialises in sushi, onigiri, and donburi, with a few rotating specials.
The sushi here is some of the best that I’ve had outside of Japan. The fish is of the highest quality (try it all, but definitely try the tuna belly), but for me what really takes this sushi to the next level is the rice. I never had a real appreciation of just how important the rice is in sushi until I first visited Japan. When you try sushi made by someone who knows this, it’s a game changer. One of my favourite shops in Tokyo is Akomeya, and whenever I go to Japan I buy a few kilograms of their rice to use for my home made sushi. It makes such a difference.
At Tochi koshihikari is used, cooked fresh in the morning and hand rolled. Bite into the sushi here and you can feel each grain of rice in your mouth, and appreciate the quality. It’s the same with the onigiri, a lightness is present that so many places fail to achieve.
I’ve not had any of the donburi or hot meals at Tochi yet, which is something I plan on rectifying soon. An absolute gem of an addiction to the neighbourhood that makes the fact that I can’t travel to Japan again yet, a little more bearable.
655-661 Sydney Road
Telephone: 0428 318 905
Tue – Sat: 11:30am to 5:00pm