It's a café style diner with fairly limited seating but we were lucky to nab a small corner table for our feast.
The menu is on huge butcher paper stuck behind the counter; it's less table service and more counter service but the staff are friendly and one of the waitresses went to a lot of effort to make sure we had enough water and everything we needed.
I also have to say for a counter service café style place, we spent a lot of time hogging the table and taking our time over the food (we had to as we over ordered as usual) and although there wasn't anyone waiting for a table, the staff were still very hospitable.
One of the first dishes to arrive was the miso soup which can be ordered in addition to main meals for an extra $2 and it's definitely worth it. This miso soup is far superior to the usual styrofoam cupful from other lunch sushi joints. It's very savoury, cloudy in appearance with a deep salty flavour. There are also other veggies in it including carrot which I left. Yummy miso soup though and perfect for an unpredictably cold and grey Melbourne Summer's day.
Along the salmon theme we had Akio's Salmon Sashimi. I'm not sure who Akio is but the dish was described as salmon sashimi with an Italian style apple and onion ponzu citrus style dressing served with vinegared rice and salad. This was a light and refeshing dish. I'm not sure what was Italian about the dressing but it provided a good sharp and zingy contrast to the salmon. Once again I'd have loved thicker salmon but as the dish was under $10 I can't expect that.
We also tried the flame grilled Japanese chicken curry which was a warming dish. There were also chunks of potato and turnip in the curry which we enjoyed. The chicken has a distinctive char grilled flavour which is an interesting contrast to the slightly sweet curry sauce. Definitely an enjoyable dish.
Our favourite dish was the Kakuni Pork described as slow cooked braised belly pork, served with rice and salad and a hint of Korean spice. Another dish for less than $10 and certainly great value for money. The pork came in a few spoonfuls of broth or cooking liquid which moistened the rice and provided much flavour. The chilli sauce was a great taste enhancer and the texture of the pork was soft and yummy. Winner!
So between Stef and I, we ordered a huge amount of food and had change from $50. Let me assure you though that we didn't eat all of it; we left a few grains of rice! There was an awful lot of rice in that meal so maybe it would be good if they did some non rice dishes with just sashimi or we could order a few main dishes and order some rice separately.
Purple Peanuts is excellent value for money given each main dish comes in at less than $10 without miso soup. And it's quick. Great for a mid week or lunchtime feed.