MELBOURNE | The loss of the brilliant Faye in Brunswick East, which had the unfortunate luck of opening in an unassuming location, just as the pandemic kicked off, was very unfortunate. That loss has, however, been tempered somewhat, by the opening of Kura in the same space.
Kura is a Japanese robatayaki restaurant , specialising in things cooked over binchōtan (white charcoal), and sake. It’s from owners Kelvin Low of The Elysian Whisky Bar, and ex Kisume and Nobu chef Ken Ibuki. They’ve both got pedigree in this space, and it shows.
Yakitori is the best way to sample what Kura is doing, and an assortment of skewers is a must. Do nab a seat at the bar/open kitchen if you can. As in Japan, the entire chicken is used. There’s the familiar thigh, breast, and tsukune (meatballs), but also more interesting things, like skin, liver, heart, gizzard. If you call ahead, you might be lucky enough to pre-order one of the limited quantity chochin, a chicken fallopian tube skewer topped with a perfectly spherical yolk.
There’s also non-chicken skewers like beef tongue and pork belly, larger plates, and a raw bar. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that because robatayaki is the speciality here, that the other dishes aren’t worth trying. Sashimi, made using the highest quality seafood from Australia, New Zealand, and Japan, is outstanding. Larger dishes are also very good. Try the fish of the day, with yuzu kosho butter, lemon, and fried capers, and the Southern Ranges Flank Steak with wasabi salsa, and red wine soy.
For drinks, it’s a rotating list of around 20 sakes, most of which are available by the glass. The staff here really know their stuff, and I recommend letting them pair your drinks with the food. Cocktails are on point too. If the miso butter old fashioned is on the menu when you visit, order it.
Shop 1/22, 30 Lygon Street
Tue – Sun: 5:00pm to 11:00pm