Goodby Kappo, Hello Mr Den’s Poppu Uppu

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MELBOURNE| Poppu Uppu has popped up in the space that was formerly home to Simon Denton’s (Mr Den’s) casual Japanese restaurant Kappo. We’re big fans of Denton’s other Japanese restaurants – Hihou (above Poppu Uppu) and the long standing Izakaya Den, so we were very interested to see what Poppu Uppu was all about when we received an invite to dine there.

The space is immediately recognisable to anyone who dined at Kappo, with very little having changed. It’s small, low lit, and intimate, with room for 25 people at either the bench that surrounds what was the open kitchen or the few tables to the side. The menu is inspired by the ‘nabemono’ dining experiences of Japan, where a pot is filled with broth and brought to a simmer, before ingredients are added by diners to cook and eat.

As well as hot pot there are a few starters and desserts on the menu too. We started with Hihou’s famous fried chicken, which is as fantastically tender on the inside, and crispy on the outside as always, along with the melt in your mouth coffee-cured salmon sashimi. Other options include sansho pepper edamame, and tofu and shitake mushroom rice puff tempura.

As for the main event, there are three hot pot options on offer at Poppu Uppu. We opted for the shabu shabu – an assortment of vegetables with a kombu broth and plate of wagyu rump, topside and sirloin. Other options are the Hokkaido-style seafood nabe with vegetables, a miso broth and fish, pipis and oysters; and the mushroom hotpot with vegetables, a sake and soy broth with silken tofu and shiitake, enoki, shimeji, oyster and king brown mushrooms. We couldn’t fault a thing. The broth is packed full of flavour, the vegetables are fresh and simple, and the meat is of the highest quality. The meat is sliced very thin, so you only need to cook it for a few seconds before enjoying it.

For desert, we went for the sake creme brulee, which has a creamy, custard-like texture to it, and the ginger and apple sorbet. Both desserts let the core flavours shine, are well balanced, and not overly sweet.

The drinks list is impressive, and has been put together by wines curated by award-winning sommelier Raffaele Mastrovincenzo. There’s an assortment of Japanese sake, spirits, cocktails and beer, along with local wines and craft beer. We highly recommend trying the Tsuru-ume Yuzushu to finish off your night – it’s kind of like a Japanese limoncello and very tasty.

There’s no set end date for Poppu Uppu – Kappo had to shut down because head chef Kentaro Usami fell ill, and we can only assume that Poppu Uppo will end when Kentaro is back to full strength. Whatever happens in the future, Poppu Uppu is certainly a pop up you’ll want to experience now.

Poppu Uppu

1 Flinders Lane
Melbourne
Victoria 3000
Australia

Telephone: (03) 9639 9500
E-mail: [email protected]
Website

Open
Mon – Sat: 5:00pm to 10:00pm

Master Den's Poppu Uppu Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Paul
Paul
Paul founded The City Lane back in 2009 as a place to share photos of his travels around Europe with friends and family. The City Lane might have changed quite a lot since those early days but one thing that’s remained constant is Paul’s passion for food, travel and culture, and a desire to photograph and write about his experiences. Paul has a strong inquisitive nature that drives him to look beneath the surface in order to discover what really makes a city and its people tick, and what better way to do this than over a good meal or drink, with a city’s locals, at places that people who live in that city actually frequent. Paul is also a co-host of The Brunswick Beer Collective, a podcast that may or may not actually be about beer.

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