Edomae Sushi

Jackie McMillan
2nd Jul 2023

Edomae Sushi stands out amidst the sea of Chinese restaurants in Burwood. This Japanese restaurant, set off the main drag, often attracts a queue. Crowds are managed using a strict 75-minute dining time limit stressed by staff and reinforced by an on-screen countdown timer. The restaurant’s name references Japan’s Edo period, where urbanisation in Edo (the former name of Japan’s capital) led to the development of convenient fast food, such as Edomae sushi sold from street stands in the area we now know as Tokyo Bay. The restaurant gives a nod to these street food vendors with overhead lanterns set off by bare wood structures in the timber-dominated space. The restaurant’s colourful murals are a nod to the emergence of printmaking in the Edo period, a time that also saw the production of Hokusai’s famous woodblock print, The Great Wave off Kanagawa. 

With this tradition in mind, we load up on three kinds of shellfish ($6.20/person). Start with the sweet surf clam, advance to the crisper texture of the whelk (tsubugai), and end on the chewy top shell (akanishigai) that fills your mouth with the flavour of the sea. Punctuate with an ochoko of dry Kyoto-Shochikunai junmai sake ($25/300ml) before moving onto wagyu or fish. Again, the three-of-a-kind options are king, with meat three ways ($8.50/person) offering up wagyu beef lightly seared (tataki) and well-cooked marbled lower rib (karubi) alongside a tender piece of ox tongue. The tuna trio ($7.30/person) lines up fresh tuna, shoyu-marinated zuke tuna (another Edo period innovation to preserve fresh tuna for longer) and lightly seared tuna. 

When you order from the touch screens, all your sushi arrives together on a platter. We rounded out our three trios with my personal favourite, sea urchin roe nigiri ($8.80/2 pieces), and spanner crab nigiri ($5/2 pieces), which was “new to me. What impressed about this sushi spot was the wide range of items and the moderate prices: this lunch for two came out just over  eighty bucks. Most of the two-piece nigiri sushi plates are priced between $4.20