• Yar Restaurant

Walking down the tourist strip of South Bank with M last week, I was first worried that we wouldn’t get a table.   Seeing Yar Restaurant empty, I was then worried that the food wouldn’t be good.

Yar Restaurant serves simple Japanese and Korean dishes in an open, beach-bar-like setting.  Looking out onto the night life along the river, we chose an outdoor table with fresh air but a roof overhead.  The waitress was shy but polite and obliging.

If you are more than peckish, the $35 all you can eat option provides decent value for money.  This lets you choose from an extensive list of freshly-made dishes until you can eat no more.  M, of course, ordered everything seafood.  I, on the other hand, stuck to the right-hand-side (i.e. the vegetarian side) of the laminated A4 sheet.

First up were vegetarian Californian roles.  Beautifully presented, my hopes for the taste were high.  You can’t judge a book by its cover.  The rice was dry.   It was slightly improved by the sweet plum sauce, bizarrely drizzled over the cuts of raw veggies and rice.

The tofu was lightly fried and silken in the middle.  Served with a sweet, spicy sauce this snack was simple and above average.

Vegetarian versions of dumplings (labelled dumplings, not gyoza) were pan fried and filled with mushy potato base like a pastie – not exciting or ideal.

The ‘traditional’ Korean dish of sweet potato noodles were also vegetarian.  These were served hot with strips of carrot and zucchini and too much oil.

We also ate warmed soy beans (edamame) and vegetable bi bim bap which was dramatically brought out in a sizzling, traditional, stone pot with egg, carrot, cucumber and tofu.  The waitress mixed it up for us as we watched and asked if we wanted chilli sauce added.  I let the rice harden against the hot, stone pot till the texture was interesting, but the flavour was lacking.  Kimchi perhaps?

Even with all her seafood, M rated Yar Restaurant a 6 out of 10 – better than average but worse than good.  If you are feeling hungry but wanting a healthier meal, then Yar Restaurant shows decent value and food.  But nothing outstanding.

Yar Restaurant

2 Queensbridge Sq
Freshwater Pl
Melbourne 3006

YAR Japanese & Korean Restaurant & Bar on Urbanspoon