137 Flinders Lane Melbourne, Victoria 3000
Yu-u's disdain for publicity, deliberately obscured entrance and beautifully designed basement fitout convey an impression of exclusivity, when in fact the experience of dining here is about as relaxed and earthy as a visit to your local Japanese, only way more awesome. A smoky yakitori grill forms the beautiful room's centrepiece, delivering delectable chicken morsels such as breast with pickled plum sauce and thigh with charred spring onion, the perfect match for draught beer or chilled sake. Elsewhere, it's simply excellent izakaya-style morsels, such as slaveringly fatty wagyu beef rolls wrapped round spring onion in a rich teriyaki, or thinly sliced scotch fillet with slippery capsicum and enoki mushrooms in a sticky barbecue sauce. All are presented promptly and with little fuss by the unflustered staff. Dessert, such as a house-made creme caramel, is good but not a highlight. Lunch is strictly a bento-box affair.