190 Smith Street
Collingwood 3066 Vic
Good place to take a date:
So we all appreciate a fancy meal in a nice brasserie or Italian restaurant. But sometimes you want to shake things up a bit, do something unpredictable. A Japanese pub? That should do the trick. This hip Asian eatery is an exciting change from the norm, with all the trimmings of a buzzing bar combined with the delights of Japanese cuisine. Casual and lively, Pabu is a quirky idea for a Melbourne date that will knock their socks off, even if the wasabi doesn’t. Get closer as you share sushi and specialities from the grill, whilst turning up the heat with a few shots of sake to lighten the mood (and your heads). Watch the evening slip away as you leisurely make your way through the menu to find an excuse not to leave. Let’s just hope they aren’t fussy eaters..
Good place to meet for a first date:
The local pub is perhaps not the classiest place to pick up a date, but a Japanese pub has a much more cosmopolitan ring to it. Blend into the warm buzz of the bamboo-laden interior as you soak in the smells of the grill from your viewpoint at the bar. As the place begins to fill, the communal dining options open up doors to meeting someone new as you tuck into your dinner over a few drinks. Meanwhile, for first dates in Melbourne Pabu is a safe bet; if it all goes ‘wong’, you can at least turn your attention to the ample range of tapas on the menu as you make your way through the cocktail selection! However the electric atmosphere is extremely infectious, so we’re sure you won’t have to worry about a thing…
Put it this way, you aren’t going to get the same drinkers in here as you might down the local. With its eco-friendly grill and contemporary Asian dining experience, Pabu tends to attract an eclectic mix of hippies, young city slickers and food fanatics. The ambience, however, is so laid-back and casual that it happily welcomes any diners eager to sample its extensive menu, as well as a good handful of drinkers wanting a cool place to meet at the start of the night for a few cocktails.
Time of review:
Versatility is one of Pabu’s greatest assets; its bar-cum-restaurant status and chilled out vibe makes it an easy option of lunch, dinner or after-work drinks. This Japanese gem is packed on weekends and pretty lively throughout the week. Great for all types of Melbourne dating, however serious or casual it may be!
Average cost of a meal and a drink:
Pabu prices are pretty reasonable; not the cheapest you’ll find around but a hell of a lot cheaper than many Melbourne restaurants. If you want a light bite or a few drinks, you won’t get a shock at the bill, but it’s incredibly tempting to just keep going and going with the amazing selection of dishes on offer.
Type of cuisine:
Fresh seafood, classic sushi and tempura treats are just a few of the features that make the Pabu menu so tantalisingly good. Pabu also caters very well for vegetarians, vegans and gluten-free eaters, ensuring smiles all round for Melbourne dating. A special mention has to go to the desserts; who knew that the Japanese could master ice cream so well.. .and green tea crème brulee, need we say more?
For a fun dining experience with equal lashings of food and sake, Pabu brings something a bit different to the table. Show that someone your spontaneous side with a date that they won’t have expected and work your way through the menu as you get to know each other.