Ebi Fine Food, 18A Essex St, Footscray. Phone: 9689 3300
It’s been a while since we’ve been to Ebi.
And circumstances are similar to those of the previous occasion we wrote about the place – it’s post-football practice; indeed this has been the first practice for the 2013 season.
We’re actually headed for another option in Ashley St, but then we’re tootling up Essex St and the inevitable happens.
“Ebi,” says Bennie with a question mark and raised eyebrows.
Besides, the lad has been proclaiming for a couple of weeks that his next foodie barrier for removal will be his resistance to fish.
Actually, he’s been able to enjoy salmon and some kinds of sushi for a while now. But big hunks of white fish and F&C in particular? Hmmm, dodgy.
And what better place than Ebi to put that hoodoo to bed?
As we enter, boss man John is fooling around with an app on his iPhone.
Called Manga Camera, it transforms photos into trippy B&W and places them in any one of what looks like about 100 manga-style frames.
It’s kooky fun!
Bennie’s large fish and chips ($15) features two handsome pieces of john dory. I don’t try it, but gosh it looks magnificent.
Bennie hoovers it up. So much for THAT particular food phobia. Next!
The typically excellent chips I do help myself to, with the pair of us madly dipping them into the rich, gooey mayo.
Bennie’s meal is completed with usual fine salad of Japanese bits and pieces.
My bento of grilled, salted salmon with mustard miso ($17) has those salad bits and more – pickles preserved and fresh; crunchy lotus root crisps; potato salad in the Japanese style; half a mini-eggplant smothered in a miso sauce; great rice … it’s all terrific.
The salmon is not notably “salted”, or not so I can taste anyway, and is quite well cooked by normal standards for this species. But it’s a long way short of overcooked and works a delicious treat with the tangy mustard miso sauce.
John also lays on us a complementary serve of his famed vegetable balls ($5), the snack instrumental is getting the whole Ebi thing going in the first place.
Bennie’s an old hand at these and makes his pair do a remarkably quick disappearing act.
I like them but for me they don’t have much of a “wow” factor. And the gooey innards whisper to me “uncooked”, which I know is both unfair and untrue.
But there you go …
It’s been fabulous to visit an old friend.
As I say to John in an email exchange later in the night, blogging keeps us on the move and few places qualify as regulars.
Ebi is one we certainly wish were so.