Saturday, September 30, 2017


Brad turned 30 this year. 

Sure, we all know age is just a number, but since we’ve been dating for more than 7 years, it’s amazing to think how different we are as 30 year old people (or almost 30 in my case) versus when we were 21. 

Brad had a much lower tolerance for stupidity, I was petrified of answering the phone. Now Brad’s mellowed out a bit (he still doesn’t tolerate stupidity, but he’s not as vocal as he used to be), and I’m…well, I still don’t really like answering the phone but I’ve definitely embraced my extrovert ways much more.

One thing that hasn’t changed over the years though, is our shared love of Japanese food - one of our topics of conversations in our initial OkCupid conversations way back when. 

So, since you can actually make a booking, even on a Friday night, I decided to take Brad out to Kisume which was (and still is I guess) pretty new. 

Whilst previous ventures by the Lucas Group tend to be bright and bold in their branding, Kisume goes the other direction. Dark and minimalist, Kisume feels very Japanese, yet very Melbourne at the same time. 

There are two experiences at Kisume that you can have - the sushi omakase (which has looked incredible from what I can see on Instagram) or just go downstairs and have a more relaxed night of Japanese food. We had opted for the latter, and descended into the basement. 

In all honesty, I didn’t have incredibly high expectations - nor did I have low ones either. I probably expected it to be a bit overhyped as Melbourne tends to like to do, but ended up thoroughly enjoying my meal. 

We started the evening with a couple of drinks, before we got into some hot food. 

I was quite surprised at how generous the serving of kakiage tempura was, with whiting, prawn, mushroom, asparagus, eggplant, corn and three different salts. The tower of fried goodness was immaculately presented, and very tasty - well seasoned, lightly crunchy…and quite filling! 

Brad thoroughly enjoyed the hand stretched udon noodles, in a bonito broth I think. We always get a carb dish for Brad when we head out as a strategic way to ensure that he’s full by the end of the meal! 

The noodles were beautiful, gorgeous in texture and gently springy. I remember loving the umami rich broth and interrupting Brad’s noodle slurping numerous times to scoop up more soup. 

The crispy wagyu truffles were one of the highlights of the meal for me - if only you got more than one each! These dense little black balls are so crunchy on the outside, but so tender and moreish on the inside. Richly truffled - who doesn’t love that, and just oozing out with melted cheesiness. Swoon!

Not many Japanese meals in Melbourne are complete without some sushi - and it took us a while to decide what we wanted to do. In the end, since it was his birthday, we opted for the deluxe feature box, which seems a bit steep at around $175 initially, but once you try to finish all of it? Well, okay, it’s actually a lot of food!

The deluxe feature box is a bento box with two layers of sushi and sashimi, with the first level covering most of your traditional options, beautifully scored salmon, delicate ebi, tuna and scallops. 

The second layer though - is where it’s not very traditionally Japanese, but it is very fun, very delicious and a little extra luxe. Intensely spicy tuna on cucumber stands, wagyu with a touch of truffle, lush slices of ootoro and my favourite - mackerel. 

Worth it. 

To finish, it had to be the hazelnut dacquoise that’s been making the rounds on Instagram looking like a pokeball (which I totally love). A beautiful red reflective glaze, encases a smooth and delightful dark chocolate mousse, with a frangelico centre that just pours out once you hit it. I love the textural transition, and the lightness the frangelico centre brings to the palate to mix up the flavours. 

Although I don’t usually like chef’s table menus - as I’m a bit of a control freak, but I was pretty impressed by the table of girls next to us who seemed to be continuously inundated with food. Would consider trying it myself next time. 

In all - we had a really enjoyable meal at Kisume. No, it won’t win awards for being the most traditional or even the best Japanese in town (although I’ve met people who’ve done the omakase who might argue otherwise) but I certainly would be happy to recommend it to anyone looking for a tasty and fun night out. 

175 Flinders Lane
Melbourne 3000

Kisumé Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

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