Our restaurant critics' picks of the latest and best eats around the country right now: Minamishima, Melbourne.
Looking for the 12 hottest seats in Melbourne right now? They're down a side-street in Richmond along the sushi bar at Minamishima. Behind the bar, owner and sushi chef Koichi Minamishima (ex-Kenzan) and Hajime Horiguchi (the former head chef at Noosa's excellent Wasabi) display their admirable knife skills using some of the finest seafood in the country. Sourced locally and from Tokyo's Tsukiji fish market, the likes of tuna belly, cockles, salmon roe, sea perch and sea urchin are transformed into brilliant nigiri sushi, expertly scored, some of it lightly flamed, while other pieces are sprinkled with Okinawan "snow salt" or lightly cured in soy sauce. The omakase-only model is not cheap ($150 per head), but for around 15 pieces of brilliant nigiri, plus non-sushi dishes such as the calamari and fishcake sitting in a crystal-clear dashi broth, and a yuzu granita and sake jelly dessert, the price tag's not difficult to understand. Manager and sommelier Randolph Cheung runs the clean-lined, dramatically lit proceedings with calm charm and is also responsible for the thrilling list of sake that further emphasises Minamishima's authenticity and quality. Little wonder, then, that Minamishima has so rapidly and emphatically become so bright a star in Melbourne's dining firmament.
Minamishima, 4 Lord St, Richmond, Vic, (03) 9429 5180
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