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Sunday, March 3, 2013

Komeyui Japanese Restaurant

Japanese food is one of our favourite cuisines to indulge in so I had to book Mr A & I in for a dinner at Komeyui to celebrate his birthday in early February. Motomu Kumano is the owner and chef of Komeyui who had previously worked as head chef at Kenzan which is undoubtedly one of Melbourne's finest Japanese restaurants. It is apparent that he thrives on providing fresh and quality produce at his restaurant with the food he presents to customers. I had been following Komeyui's twitter account and chanced upon one of their photos which displayed boxes of uni (sea urchin roe) lined up beautifully. Uni is often referred to as the foie gras of the sea and although it is an acquired taste, it's something I have come to love. Conversing with Kuma-san via twitter, I managed to secure some lovely uni for our upcoming dinner and also enquire about the possibility of having otoro (fatty tuna belly) which he ordered in. Yes, we were ready to indulge.

Decorated in a simplistic manner, the restaurant has a serene ambiance and you can just feel the concentration and passion Kuma-san has for his food, working behind the sushi bar.

Starting off with a complimentary appetiser of seaweed and tuna mayonnaise, tasty and light on the palate.

Complimentary seaweed and tuna mayonnaise

We incidentally visited on a Wednesday which just so happens to be 'Sake night' - a night where the sake is on the house (from a select menu) and you can drink as much as you'd like. Mr A first tried a glass of the Jozen-mizunogotoshi (the premium sake) which had a clean taste and was incredibly smooth. I liked the sound of the sake infused with sakura tree leaves (cherry blossoms); chilled, it was perfect for the warm day and not too strong.

Complimentary sake nights on Wednesdays - Jozen-mizunogotoshi sake & sake infused with cherry blossoms

We started first with a beautiful, large platter of sashimi. Consisting of a variety of fresh fish, Kuma-san had torched a few to add more substance to the platter. The seared salmon was smooth and melt in the mouth, as was the quality lean tuna and scallop. The kingfish and dory were clean tasting and comparatively more firm in texture. Saving the best for last, I slowly worked my way through the uni roe (not part of the normal sashimi platter). The texture can be strange to first-timers with the resemblance and feel of a tongue (almost creepy hah!), however once you break through the surface, you will be rewarded with a sweet, creamy and intense briny flavour of the sea. In the form of sushi, the uni's flavours were mellowed by the combination of rice but equally as delicious.

Sashimi main ($40) and adding on Sea urchin sushi (2 pcs $17) & Sea urchin sashimi (2 pcs $20)

The otoro was what we had been anticipating all week. The otoro is a portion from the tuna's belly which has the highest fat content and it is marbled with rivers of fat resulting in a lighter pink colour of tuna. The slices of otoro were quickly torched to liquefy the oils for a literal melt in mouth texture. The taste and texture of the otoro greatly reminded us of eating Kobe beef in Japan - somewhat meaty, just melting in our mouths and the delectable fatty flavour lingering on our tongues. Every piece brought us back to Japan and we wanted to stay, but alas, with otoro comes a hefty price although it is totally worth it in my opinion.

Otoro - Fatty tuna belly priced by weight ($78)

The wagyu tataki was briefly seared and came with spring onions, pickled radish and slow cooked tomato. It was very tender and scrumptious with the ponzu sauce and lemon.

Wagyu tataki ($23)

Mr A loves his hot sake which warmed the body and was smooth to drink.

Complimentary hot sake

The miso marinated black cod came out in two cuts; a fillet from the body and one from the tail which were different in taste. Cod is an oily fish which works extremely well with the sweet and salty miso sauce, so the body was firm yet flaked away easily. The tail was unctuous and the skin gave an enjoyable chewy and sticky consistency with the miso flavour.

Saikyo yaki - Miso marinated black cod ($35)

The chocolate castella and ice cream came in small cubes and although the castella (a type of Japanese sponge cake) was slightly on the dry side, the combination of the green tea and black sesame ice cream was scrumptious. A tart raspberry powder was sprinkled on top to give an extra pop to the dessert. I really loved the unique wooden utensils we were provided as they gave off a homely Japanese feel.

Green tea and black sesame ice cream with castella ($14)

Sake crème brûlée is not something you hear often, or even at all, but the idea intrigued us. Breaking through the layer of caramelised sugar was a sweet, creamy custard with a noticeable sake flavour. The sake wasn't overpowering and showed a nice balance of sweetness and alcohol. The crème brûlée was accompanied with a shot glass of apple and berries slow cooked in rice wine which had a subtle alcohol flavour. The kitchen were really lovely to write a birthday message to Mr A and also kindly brought out two slices of cantaloupe drizzled in a caramel sauce which made the fresh fruit just that little bit more decadent.

Sake crème brûlée with slow cooked fruits in rice wine and cantaloupe ($14)

Throughout the meal, we were astounded and so impressed with each forthcoming dish and enjoyed our dinner at Komeyui. The service was extremely friendly and hospitable so we felt right very relaxed. Kudos to Kuma-san who has created a seamless experience from start to finish and proved that he loves to satisfy his customers with quality food. Japanese cuisine comes in at all sorts of budgets but for fine dining Japanese, we were so impressed that Komeyui has now become our favourite Japanese restaurant. It seems like Kuma-san has superseded his previous work at Kenzan and created an absolute winner in Port Melbourne; we can't wait to come back again!

Komeyui Japanese Restaurant on Bay Street

Food: 9.5/10
Service: 9.5/10
Value: 8/10
Will I return? Yes, definitely!

Komeyui Japanese Restaurant
396 Bay Street
Port Melbourne VIC 3207
(03) 9646 2296

Lunch: Tuesday to Sat midday - 3pm
Dinner: Tues to Sat 6pm - 10pm

Komeyui Japanese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

17 thoughts:

  1. OMG! You very very very lucky girl!
    All those plates of food look splendid, and definite intricate piece of artwork imo!

    And.. I so totally want to have that uni and otoro!


    1. Yes, the Chef was very admirable and deliberate with his artistic plating. Totally worth the visit!

  2. My boyfriend loves Japanese food too but to be really honest I'm probably not the biggest fan :) Anyhow he's been bugging me about going to Komeyui for the longest time and we were going to go last night...but then realised that they're actually not open on Sundays hehe DAMN bad luck for him :P

    Will have to organise another time to go with him :D

    1. Haha Daisy, I think you'll love the service more here than Shira Nui! I know Ricky loves Jap but you prefer Korean haha but the japanese food here is worth it :)

  3. Oh catherine I want sushi! This has been on my list for a while but I need to get off me ass to go there since it's a trek but sounds so worth it :) YUM!

    1. It's so worth it Julie!! It was on my wishlist for ages too but so glad I went in the end :)

  4. Oh I've wanted to go to Komeyui for ages! The photos of your food looks so delicious! Next date night we're most definitely going to go!!!!

    1. Same boat as me but I'm glad I finally make the visit, even if it meant catching a bus from the city hah! Hope you enjoy your date night there! :)

  5. Such a neato place huh?! Only been once but will go again. It brought me back to Japan.

    1. Yes, I felt like I was in Japan! Only makes me more excited for my upcoming trip in July :)

  6. These dishes look so awesome, however when I checked their website menu, it does not have the tuna otoro or sea urchin on it, is that because of the outdated version?

    1. Hi Huiwen, they don't have otoro or the sea urchin on the menu as it depends on the season and availability. I messaged them on twitter to check if they were available, so I'm sure you call them, they might be able to order it in for you. Hope that helps! :)

    2. Thx a lot for your help:D, i called them and they will be able to manage them if i require in advance

    3. No problems! :) Hope you enjoy your meal when you go!

  7. I'm a little confused on the pricing - how much would you normally spend on a sitting there for 2 people?

    1. Hi there George,

      Prices have been listed under each dish and this whole meal was for the two of us - ~$240. I've known others to dine here as a group and pay $90 per person or so however I'm not certain as to what or how much they had.


Thanks for your comments!

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