(Melbourne) Tsubu Bar

Tsubu Bar - Outside

A friend of mine and I have endeavored to try out food from different places once a week – we’re going to graduate soon and there’s still so much food that we haven’t tried yet! It’s become some sort of a ritual now, and we’d look up different restaurants or cafes that we could try in the future. One of the restaurants we came across was Tsubu Bar, a Japanese restaurant that is located within the University of Melbourne’s Parkville campus. It’s just a few meters from the entrance of Gate 6, which is on Swanston Street and next to the Sidney Myer Asia Central. You could see plenty of the university’s staff and students dining both indoors and outdoors (although I would suggest to sit indoors during fall and winter seasons due to unpredictable weather and falling leaves). I’ve tried a couple of the dishes from Tsubu Bar, but never really had the chance to try out the drinks. The atmosphere here is pretty chill and ideal to have a chat with friends, or even to work on assignments while nibbling on some food.

 – General Review –

  •  Service: 7/10

Service at Tsubu Bar was standard – staff were decently friendly and attentive. Customers pay at the counter but the food will be delivered to your table, so customers don’t have to take them themselves. Tsubu Bar also provides several dishes from both “smaller” and “larger dishes” that are suitable for vegetarians. There is also an ATM in the restaurant, even though customers can pay with card. The most recent time we came here, it was so crowded that we had to wait for around 30 minutes for our meals to be served.

  • Servicescape: 7/10

The servicescape here is pleasant, and it exudes a mix of both Western and Japanese feel. The place is clean, peaceful, relaxing, and since it’s on campus, it is also quite the ideal place to work on assignments. However, many students and staff from the university also come here to eat, so it can get quite loud. Sometimes, there are even seats that are reserved for quite a large group of people. Although the atmosphere is pleasant, I thought the decorations and layout were pretty bare; nothing too special or interesting.





  • Non-smoking area: Yes, seats indoor are non-smoking. There are a number of outdoor seats available too.
  • Vegetarian dishes: Yes, although quite limited with a few dishes available for both appetizer and main course.
  • Price range: $$ (AU$8 – $16 for most appetizer & main dishes. Food’s pricey relative to quality and portion.)

Overall Rating: 6.8/10

 – Food Experience –

1) Miso Soup:

The miso soup was common, and I thought that it lacked a bit of tofu.

Miso Soup ($4.5)

Miso Soup ($4.50)

2) Okonomiyaki:

The okonomiyaki was decent as well, though I couldn’t really taste the veggies inside. It was adequately sweet and salty,  and I like the okonomiyaki sauce and mayonnaise. The portion was quite small, although it can be shared as appetizer. It’s also suitable for vegetarians!

Okonomiyaki ($8.5)

Okonomiyaki ($8.50)

3) Grilled Pork Belly:

I enjoyed the combination of pork belly and the white onion and black pepper dressing with rice. I wasn’t too fond of the salad though, and I thought it didn’t suit the dish. It did help with balancing the the fattiness and oiliness from the pork belly though. Overall, the Grilled Pork Belly was a decent meal, although I thought it was a tad expensive for the price.

Grilled Pork Belly ($16)

Grilled Pork Belly ($16)

4) Japanese Beef Curry:

The Japanese Beef Curry is by far the best dish I’ve tried in Tsubu Bar! The beef was really delicious (and I thought it tasted like beef briskets), and it was really tender with enough flavour. The curry itself wasn’t too thick, overwhelming and rich, and the carrots and potatoes were quite soft too. The dish was neither too salty nor spicy, and the portion was just right. However, I thought that the salad was kinda off and didn’t suit the whole dish.

Japanese Beef Curry ($14)

Japanese Beef Curry ($14)


Location: Gate 6, Swanston St, Building 1888, University Of Melbourne, Melbourne – VIC, Australia (03010)

Contact number: +61 3 9035 3410

Website: Tsubu Bar

Operating hours: Mon – Fri: 10am – late

Sat – Sun: Closed

Posted by: V

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