Ebi Fine Food, 18A Essex St, Footscray. Phone: 9689 3300
A “whoops, wrong day” scheduling misunderstanding meant I could not take Tony and his son, Nick, to the Somalian place I had planned for them as I’d had lunch there about six hours before.
So off we went, ending up – after a bit of to-ing and fro-ing on my part – in Essex Street.
CTS has written bout Ebi a number of times – the last more than a year ago when new management had recently taken over.
But we’re happy to do so again in order reassure readers that things are running smoothly and Ebi is still, well, very much Ebi.
The menu, and the specials board, appear to be unchanged.
The staff are smiling and engaging.
At first, early on a Saturday evening, we were seated outside, but it was a little on the chilly side so when bar stools became available we were happily ushered inside.
Most importantly, the all-important attention to details – things such as a crisp lotus root chips and the many kinds of pickle – remain very much in evidence.
I turned my back on the superb Ebi fish and chips I have been eating here for years and chose instead the chicken katsu curry rice bowl ($17).
It was sooooo good – pretty much the best Japanese rice-bowl meal I’ve ever had.
Rich curry gravy boosted by a tantalising just-right whiff of bonito flakes, lots of pickles and lots of perfectly cooked, crunchy chook, the equilibrium between rice/gravy/chicken balanced so all “run out” at precisely the same time.
My friends’ choices of the fish-three-ways bento and the chilli prawn bento (both $19) seemed the usual Ebi spot-on.
What a gem this is – small, friendly, neighbourly and miles from any of the established food strips.
I really enjoyed seeing somewhere so familiar, however briefly, through the eyes of visitors to the west.