Wandering up Smith Street, an area that is already scattered with Japanese food, Hinoki Japanese Pantry is clearly standing out from the crowd.
Imagine an all sort of kinds Japanese grocer / sushi place with a sleek, minimalistic interior and exposed lighting. It feels inviting and all the goods on offer make you curious to get inside and to explore the store.
One of the unique selling points of this shop has to be its sushi I’d say.
Hinoki’s sushi is more on the innovative side than your typical tempura chicken handroll. Wether it be their famous nosé-maki, some more traditional sushi and sashimi or a mixed aburi set with fresh and seared fish, you can’t go wrong here. Veggie options are plentiful and prices are not too bad given the freshness and quality.
Like I’ve mentioned before, Hinoki comes also with good Japanese grocery.
Whether it be soy ice cream or that ice cream that reminded my Japanese friends of their childhood (I forgot the name unfortunately but one comes in a fish kind of shape and the other comes in the shape of fruit), or croquet and ramen from the freezer section, this store won’t disappoint.
Other groceries include Japanese curries, ramen, soba, gyoza, spices, bottles over bottles of dressings, sauces and mayonnaise, sweet treats and teas. A veritable cornucopia of all sorts and styles of sake completes the exciting list of groceries at this store.
One tip though:
If you are not familiar with Japanese groceries and you don’t speak any Japanese I recommend you get some help from friends who can guide you through the store, read and translate the packaging for you, or you might look for help from the lovely guys working at Hinoki.
Believe me if I wouldn’t have had my two friends with me who happen to be Japanese I would have missed out on the whole experience and wouldn’t have known what to buy.
Hinoki Japanese Pantry
279 Smith Street, Fitzroy, VIC 3065
Tue – Thu: 10:00 – 18:00
Fri – Sat: 10:00 – 19:00
Sun: 11:00 – 17:00