MELBOURNE | There’s a new family-run hole-in-the wall in town, inspired by the owner’s love of Japan’s speciality onigiri spots. It’s called Onigiri Kitchen And Sake Bar, and I recently popped in to grab some snaps for What’s On Melbourne.
The Mitchell & Eades designed space gets things right, with a minimalist, warmly lit, timber and rendered-wall fit-out that evokes the kind of spaces you find tucked away in places like a basement passageway in Tokyo Station. Music, courtesy of limited-press Japanese issue vinyl records, adds to the vibe.
On the menu you’ll find a selection of eight rotating onigiri made daily, along with bento boxes, and a few sides and sweet treats. Onigiri flavours include things like kimchi; chicken with cucumber, wasabi, and mayo; and stir fried green cabbage with capsicum, celery, and garlic. Produce is of the highest quality, sourced where possible from the family’s farm, Ferndale Organics. The farm is also home to a pottery studio, where Japanese clay is used to craft Onigiri’s tableware.
Bento boxes follow a similar theme to the onigiri, with some different flavours and components. Think karaage, and a Japanese take on latkes and Königsberger klopse. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, be sure to try the airy cinnamon tofu doughnuts.
To drink, it’s coffee and things like matcha lattes, along with premium sodas, craft beer, tea and sake, imported from independent producers in Japan. Onigiri is currently open during the day only, but keep an eye out on their socials. The plan is to open a few nights a week as a sake bar once they’ve found their feet.
Onigiri Kitchen And Sake Bar
15 Little Collins Street
Mon – Fri: 8:00am to 4:00pm