Maru Shih Japanese Cafe

Maru Shih Japanese Cafe
49 Toorak Road
South Yarra
Vic 3141
+61 3 9077 9108
Maru Shih Japanese Cafe on Urbanspoon


After spending 1 week in Japan, The Angmoh returned, only to still crave the cuisine. Our attempt to rock up at Ichi Ichi Ku without a booking on a Sunday evening fell through and we desperately searched for a Japanese joint in South Yarra. This is how we chanced upon Maru Shih Japanese Cafe.


Maru Shih is a small, easily-missed sushi shop along Toorak Road. Don’t let the shabby cramped space on ground level fool you. I was charmed down to my itsy bitsy toes as the waitress ushered us up the stairs. We walked past a painted bookcase, a corner table with little hearts, a seductive love seat, and settled down at a table overlooking Toorak Road.

(Left) Okonomiyaki – Japanese savoury pancake with seafood and vegetables $6
(Right) Deluxe Prawn Avocado Hand Roll (8 pieces) $9

The menu is simple and contains all the usual Japanese items in any local Japanese dining hole. The sashimi, having only the choice of salmon, was served fresh and sweet. The okonomiyaki here is one of the better ones I’ve come across in Melbourne. It is served quartered, with a good mix of batter and cabbage. The bases are crisp with a soft middle that isn’t too soggy, and the pancake is topped with a balanced drizzle of Japanese mayo and teriyaki sauce. Our choice of sushi roll was a simple affair of avocado and prawn.

Salmon Sashimi (10 pieces) $12

The Angmoh was in the mood for Japanese curry, something which I’m not a huge fan of. He had katsu curry udon. I can only describe the soup to be a watered down version of Japanese curry and not to say it wasn’t good, it’s just not quite my thing. The chicken katsu on the other hand was a perfectly crumbed and deep-fried piece of chicken breast. The batter was well-seasoned and, despite soaking in the soup, didn’t lose its crunch.

Katsu Curry Udon – Fried crumbed chicken curry, spring onion and thick udon noodle soup $10.50

I loved my tempura udon. The tempura was non-oily and housed plump juicy prawns. The soup was gentle and sweet, perhaps made from a stock of kombu. I slurped up the entire bowl right down to the very last drop.

Tempura Udon – Tempura prawns, egg, seaweed and thick udon noodle soup $10.50

The Angmoh and I had no complaints at Maru Shih. Service is authentically Japanese and the food is unpretentious and satisfying. Give Maru Shih a chance the next time you’re in the mood for a no-fuss Japanese meal.



Filed under Japanese, Noodles, South Yarra

10 responses to “Maru Shih Japanese Cafe

  1. I walk past this place all the time but have not gotten around to trying it yet. It does look pretty nice, though! I also tram past IIK all time…

  2. Oh how cute! Love the faux bookshelf there, I’m personally a huge fan of Japanese curry, but I think generally Malaysians/Singaporeans are a bit ‘eh’ with it, because we like our traditional coconut based spicy delights!

  3. I’ve driven past that place a zillion times – never thought to go in, hehe. All the food looks really good, especially the salmon sashimi!

  4. Yeah, love the okonomiyaki and chicken curry don here as well. Just a great little local place.

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