If you think all of Collingwood’s restaurant action in happening on Smith Street, you’re wrong. Take a stroll down Cambridge Street, and you’ll stumble across the Japanese eating spot, Akasiro.
The name has a simple homely meaning (red and white), the design is simple, functional and very homely and Japanese and the restaurant's food is equally simple and homely. The dishes are the sorts of Japanese dishes that you'd call your favourites and have once or twice a week without ever getting tired of them.
The menu features 11 Teishoku (main+rice+miso soup) dishes, all served with a crunchy salad of cabbage, iceberg lettuce and cucumber topped with an unusual but more-ish ‘dressing’ of pureed carrot and vinegar. Each dish arrives with a subtly flavoured miso soup and you can have as much steamed rice as you like. There are also sides which change daily – we were given the choice of either sardines with pickled cucumber, or sautéed slippery jack mushrooms.
Carnivores should try the slow-cooked pork belly and daikon in sweet sake sauce, grilled pork in egg and flour with Japanese barbecue sauce and mayonnaise, or the Ton-Katsu, whose description on the menu is straight to the point – “very popular deep fried pork cutlet”.
And for those who enjoy a spot of fusion, there’s the Hamburg – grilled beef and pork mince patty with tomato and Worcester sauce. We loved the sound of the Ni-Zakana (boneless white fish simmered in soy and sweet sake sauce) and the Sake-Mushi (drunken mussels, bok choy, mushrooms with shiso herb). There are also a couple of interesting vegetarian options. The drinks list is short and sweet and features Karita paper drip coffee, specialty teas, grape juice and homemade lemonade.