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Tom Suzuki left Japan when he was 20 years old. Right after arriving in Melbourne, he started working at a fish wholesaler, and eventually extended his love for fresh fish by opening the tiny Shyun – a casual, order-via-iPad, Japanese restaurant.

At nights, it’s forever busy. Sometimes it’s hard to get a seat. Students and families gather here and at the nearby Shyun Ramen Bar for affordable food that maintains high quality.

Suzuki, who also co-owns Tetsujin in the Emporium, didn’t want Shyun to be limited to serving sushi and sashimi. The menu also offers soba noodle dishes; don bowls; curries; and make-your-own bento boxes .

There are some Western desserts on the menu, but it’s the Japanese-inspired dishes that dominate. The not-too-sweet green tea tiramisu, made by Suzuki’s wife, is the indisputable favourite.

If you need help figuring out which of the Japanese beers, sake and shochu (hard liquor made from grains and vegetables) will best accompany your food, ask the knowledgeable Japanese waiters.

Around the restaurant customers will find entertaining little knick-knacks such as Astro Boy posters and old Japanese beer advertisements. If you doubt the establishment’s dedication to fish, look over at the clock – the numbers have been replaced with plastic nigiri.