After a successful debut week in Sydney, Saké Jr, the so fresh, so clean spin-off of Saké Restaurant & Bar, will open in Melbourne at 555 Bourke Street today (Wednesday 14th September). Fashioned as a Korean influenced little sister to the famed Japanese restaurant brand, this health-focused venture will be driven by build-your-own rice, noodle, salad, and bao bun based bowls, offering customers a huge array of fresh veggies, proteins, sauces, and condiments to let them fully customise their order.
Combos available include udon rice noodles topped with crispy sesame soy pork, blistered beans in black garlic sauce, apple soy ginger sauce, and tempura crunch, or seasoned sushi rice with spicy yuzu ponzu salmon chirashi, charred corn, and garlic shoots with Japanese salad dressing and toasted nori strips. The possibilities reach far, and to showcase this Saké Jr at 555 Bourke Street will be giving away 700 free meals over the first three days of opening.
The free DIY bowls will be first available from 11am today, where the first 500 customers who head down will each each receive a free build-your-own bowl with access to all the ingredients. Following this, the first 100 customers in line on Thursday will receive a free breakfast porridge bowl and regular coffee from 7am-10am. Finally, on Friday the first 100 customers will receive a free build-your-own bowl plus a 300ml Hattori Hitgirl or Blushing Geisha craft beer from 5pm-7pm.
The Saké Jr Bourke Street store marks the second for these fast-casual ventures in Australia, part of much larger plans for the brand who plan to roll out a whopping 100 of these stores nationally over the next five years. At least two more are expected to open before the end of this year, with one being located at Sydney’s Grosvenor Place and another at St Collins Lane shopping centre in Melbourne.
Saké Jr Bourke Street will open from 7am for breakfast Monday-Saturday, so customers can start their day with an acai bowl, seasonal fruit salad with yuzu, okinawa sugar banana bread, or berry and yuzu muesli. The opening menu also spans quick ‘grab & go’ items, including miso and kimchi soups, sushi rolls, salads, dumplings and gyoza; unique desserts, such as chocolate-dipped strawberry shuriken ice cream sandwich and yuzu orange wasabi sorbet; as well as cold press juices, healthy smoothies, nut milks, locally-roasted Bonacci coffee, and organic kombucha.
In terms of drinks, the aforementioned craft beers (brewed especially by Urban Brewing Co) will be available to purchase draught along with a number of house wines on tap, and sake by the glass.
Each day will feature two happy “hours”, a morning one from 7am-10am where a breakfast porridge and regular coffee will set you back $5, and an evening one from 5pm-7pm, netting you a bowl and a 300ml craft beer for $10.
Saké Jr Bourke Street
Address: 555 Bourke Street
Hours: Mon-Fri 7am-8pm; Sat 9am-8pm. Breakfast until 11:30am.