Melbourne's star sushi and sashimi restaurant Komeyui has expanded to Spring Hill
Melbourne's star sushi and sashimi restaurant Komeyui has expanded to Spring Hill
Melbourne's star sushi and sashimi restaurant Komeyui has expanded to Spring Hill
Melbourne's star sushi and sashimi restaurant Komeyui has expanded to Spring Hill
Melbourne's star sushi and sashimi restaurant Komeyui has expanded to Spring Hill
Melbourne's star sushi and sashimi restaurant Komeyui has expanded to Spring Hill
Melbourne's star sushi and sashimi restaurant Komeyui has expanded to Spring Hill
Melbourne's star sushi and sashimi restaurant Komeyui has expanded to Spring Hill
Melbourne's star sushi and sashimi restaurant Komeyui has expanded to Spring Hill
Melbourne's star sushi and sashimi restaurant Komeyui has expanded to Spring Hill
Melbourne's star sushi and sashimi restaurant Komeyui has expanded to Spring Hill
Melbourne's star sushi and sashimi restaurant Komeyui has expanded to Spring Hill
Melbourne's star sushi and sashimi restaurant Komeyui has expanded to Spring Hill
Melbourne's star sushi and sashimi restaurant Komeyui has expanded to Spring Hill
Melbourne's star sushi and sashimi restaurant Komeyui has expanded to Spring Hill
Melbourne's star sushi and sashimi restaurant Komeyui has expanded to Spring Hill

Melbourne’s star sushi and sashimi restaurant Komeyui has expanded to Spring Hill

When you enter Komeyui on Wharf Street, don’t be alarmed if at first you think you’ve mistakenly walked into a boutique art gallery. That’s part of the newly open Japanese restaurant’s appeal. In addition to being famed for its crisp, sophisticated aesthetic, the Melbourne-born restaurant is highly regarded for its exceptional cuisine. Traditional techniques are utilised to turn out a sensational menu of eats, from melt-in-your-mouth wagyu sirloins and teriyaki salmon to assortments of seasonal sashimi and nigiri. It’s open now and it is already looking like one of the year’s best. Take a look inside …

Melbourne-born Japanese restaurant Komeyui opened its anticipated Brisbane expansion in at the beginning of January and already it has earned return custom. The secret to this immediate success can probably be found in the restaurant’s name. The word kome (rice) and yui (knot) symbolises food bringing people together. But taken a little bit further and it could also refer to the harmonious unification of food and art. Since first opening the restaurant in Port Melbourne in 2011 (where it operated until it relocated to South Melbourne in 2020), Komeyui’s founder – Hokkaido-born chef Motomu ‘Kuma’ Kumano – has been keenly exploring the relationship between art and food, particularly the shared need for equal parts passion and discipline. Much like how an artist can stir emotion with a single brushstroke, a chef can use the slice of the knife and a flick of the wrist to create perfectly balanced and sense-enlivening dishes. Kuma has applied this mindset to his artfully plated fare, which has earned him recognition among Melbourne diners, made fans of the team at C.R. Kennedy & Company, the owners of Komeyui’s Melbourne location. When given the opportunity to open a second restaurant at C.R. Kennedy’s new Spring Hill office building, Wharf 203, Kuma and his team relished the opportunity to expand northward and bring Komeyui’s eye-catching form of epicurean endeavour to a market hungry for more.

The sturdy structure, previously the Australian Federal Police building, might seem like an odd location to construct a high-end Japanese restaurant, but Komeyui’s spacious 550-sqm ground-floor tenancy belies its utilitarian exterior. Kuma has enlisted long-time collaborator Sue Coles of Melbourne architecture and design firm Baenziger Coles to fashion Komeyui Brisbane’s striking internal look. Art once again comes into play, with a gallery-inspired aesthetic conveyed through a chicly understated black-and-white colour scheme. A torched timber entrance, grey stone floors and black cabinetry is smartly juxtaposed against blonde timber furnishings, opaque curtains and various works of art, the latter of which adds vibrant pops of colour to Komeyui’s alcoves. In terms of seating, guests can gather around scattered tables, at the bar or at the 12-m-long sushi counter, which is undoubtedly the venue’s eye-drawing centrepiece. Soon, Komeyui will expand its seating out onto the exterior courtyard, adding a breezy alfresco setting to its footprint.

Though artful, Komeyui’s offering is couched in tradition and simplicity, with essential elements of authentic Japanese cuisine melded with a hint of multicultural flair. The seasonally shifting offering consists of three main components – an a la carte menu, a ten-course omakase service and a ten-course kaiseki menu. The latter two will become available in March, with guests dining at Komeyui currently able to enjoy one of two short five-course chef’s tasting menus (a smaller omakase and signature lunch) and a range of a la carte dishes. The most important aspect of Komeyui’s offering is rice. Kuma imports his from Japan and cooks it in a hagama – a traditional Japanese cast-iron rice-cooker that has been used in Japan for more than 1000 years. The next most important ingredient is the fish, which Kuma sources locally from across Victoria and Tasmania, as well as premium tuna from Japan. With these foundations in place, Komeyui’s kitchen team can deliver a broad a la carte offering. It starts with assorted sashimi, nigiri and sushi (including box-shaped ‘saba-zushi’ with rice-vinegar cured mackerel), plus appetisers (like deep-fried seaweed crackers topped with spicy tuna) and little dishes (from wagyu tataki to deep-fried shrimp with smoked-garlic salt) before segueing to mains such as Australian wagyu sirloins cooked on the Josper charcoal oven, black cod marinated for three days in Kyoto miso, and slow-cooked pork belly with a soy sauce glaze. Komeyui’s drinks menu is similarly broad, with Japanese bar staples like whisky highballs and Suntory Premium Malt beer available alongside signature cocktails (which include a sake martini), verious bottles of sake and wines curated to pair with particular dishes.

Komeyui is now open to the public from Tuesday to Sunday for lunch and dinner. Contact info, booking details and menus can be found in the Stumble Guide.

The Stumble Guide is our comprehensive Brisbane dining guide with more than 2400 places to eat, drink, shop and play.

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