Torrisong – Carlton, Melbourne – specializing in Japanese teishoku meal sets where you get a smorgasbord of hors d’oeuvres

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Torrisong opened in 2018 as a different kind of Japanese restaurant offering ramen and other small plates. Sometime after it decided to specialise in teishoku meal sets which are Japanese smorgasbords with several hors d’oeuvres. Nowadays, it seems that Torrisong exclusively serves teishoku and doesn’t serve ramen or other main dishes anymore. I think that’s a great thing because the restaurant is clearly doing really well and teishoku is super popular among diners and visitors.

What I like about teishoku is that they allow the restaurant to show off its creativity and use ingredients in season. For most diners, teishoku offers so many incredible small dishes that give you a taste of so many things. At Torrisong, all side dishes for a teishoku are the same but the difference is that main meat or vegetable dish. What’s more, the side dishes change from day to day at Torrisong so what you try one day can be different to what you have the next time.

Torrisong is usually booked out most nights over Friday and the weekend so reserving a table is crucial. You can book via their website. Plus booking on Sunday means you have to pay their public holiday surcharge.

The tables are rather small, yet they have to fit rather big boards for the teishoku.

We ordered their premium teishoku with ox tongue for AUD$43, higawari (daily special) teishoku with grilled miso salmon for $35, a side of katsuobushi (bonito flakes) fries for $8, and hojicha latte for $8.

On the day we visited, we had the following side dishes: sashimi, ginger pork, tempura zucchini with dashi sauce and katsuobushi, cucumber moromi (mash of unfermented soy sauce) miso, onsen tamago, miso soup, rice and either pudding with brown sugar syrup or matcha cheesecake with red bean paste.

We were served water first and then a glass of hojicha latte. What was interesting was that the latte (milk) was separate to the hojicha (roast green tea) mixture. It was cool to mix the two together and create a swirling pattern in the glass. The hojicha latte was really nice.

The teishoku were huge and filling. We were really impressed with the spread of food. I was really satisfied with the onsen egg, tempura zucchini and ginger pork, since they were very flavorsome. The tempura zucchini was sitting in a dashi stock that was slightly thickened and it added a depth of flavor that I’ve not encountered elsewhere with tempura. The ox tongue was okay but felt it was a small serving and one or two pieces were slightly dry. The grilled miso salmon was excellent and had no issues with it. Between the pudding with brown sugar and the matcha cheesecake it was hard to decide which was better – both were really tasty!

The katsuobushi fries were addictive. Although they seemed a little soggy, I was happy because they were still crispy, they gave a good serving in a bowl mixed with seaweed, and it came served with a mixture of mayonnaise and a sweet sauce. It was a great version of fries.

Torrisong can be reached by all trams on Swanston Street but is outside the free tram zone and is located at 143 Queensberry Street, Carlton VIC 3053:

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