Chin Chin's Chris Lucas Is Opening a Three-Storey Japanese Restaurant on Flinders Lane
And it's set to have an intimate, eight-seat omakase-style bar.
Chin Chin's Chris Lucas strikes again with plans to open his second Flinders Lane haunt. It may not yet have a name, but the three-storey, three-kitchen Japanese restaurant is certainly in motion and set to open at 175 Flinders Lane — opposite Supernormal and just down the road from the forever-heaving Chin Chin — in March 2017.
According to Good Food, Head Chef Shaun Presland has been lured away from his Sydney digs at Sake (which has also just opened on Flinders Lane) to run this new venture, which is a coup for The Lucas Group. Presland is clearly the man for the job — Japanese cuisine has been his focus for decades, from cheffing in Japan in the '90s (and subsequently becoming fluent in the language), to setting up Sushi e for the Merivale Group back in 2000 and even getting headhunted by Nobu in 2005.
The food will aim at high-end without being exclusive — a very Lucas-esqe concept — and the three levels will be distinct and self-contained. At street level will be a 150-seater split-level main dining room with a "serious" sushi bar (sans the train) and a "hot kitchen" in the basement. But we're most excited for the top floor: an eight-seat, omakase-style bar offering traditional kaiseki, which is a delicate and extravagant multi-course display of skill and technique.
On the drinks side of things, the restaurant's new wine connoisseur Philip Rich (ex-Prince Wine Store) is flying to Japan in November to create an impeccable Japanese wine, beer and sake list, and the hiring of a "sake master" is also in the works.
The building itself is still far from restaurant-ready and, as it currently stands, is part office, part "reptile shop". Luckily, Wood Marsh Architecture (the architects behind ACCA) is on the case. The next twelve months will be a busy one for The Lucas Group, who has also announced a Sydney location of Chin Chin and secretive plans for their recently acquired Smith Street location. This is of course in addition to their other Melbourne eateries, which include the aforementioned Chin Chin,Kong BBQ, Baby Pizzeria and Hawker Hall.
Via Good Food. Top image: Chin Chin via The Lucas Group.