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Ippin Japanese Dining

This new 140-seat Japanese restaurant pairs popcorn lobster, 24-piece sashimi sets and yuzu panna cotta with sake and Matcha-gronis.
By Sarah Ward
April 13, 2023
By Sarah Ward
April 13, 2023

Already home to gelato, doughnuts, Mediterranean cuisineHungarian pastries, Greek eats, the second outpost of one of Brisbane's favourite cafes and more, West End's West Village has just added a new culinary go-to to its lineup: Ippin Japanese Dining. Initially announced in 2022, and welcoming in patrons since Wednesday, April 12, it's the first Brisbane venture from Sydney restaurateur Kenny Lee, owner of the New South Wales capital's Kuon Omakase, Allta and Funda restaurants — and he has brought his popcorn lobster with him.

That beloved dish from down south sits on a seafood- and meat-heavy menu heroing Queensland produce, plus products imported from Japan, in a space that also takes the same mix-and-match approach. Located in West Village's Garden Pavilion, Ippin's decor ties into its both its culinary influence and its setting, featuring minimalist Japanese design but working with the timber and brickwork that's prominent around West Village.

Also a supremely Brisbane touch: the greenery views, including peering down on openair lawn The Common from its second-floor perch.

Diners ascending above West Village's hustle and bustle — literally, given the levelled-up location — to the 140-seater will tuck into Japanese eats overseen by head chef Tatsuya Miwa. With owners Helen Lea and Jane Ma, too, Miwa and Lee have devised lunch and dinner menus that feature traditional seafood starters, sides, mains and desserts. You can kick off your visit with that famed lobster fare or karaage chicken, for instance, then enjoy wagyu beef tataki, soft-shell crab rolls, chargrilled octopus and yuzu panna cotta.

If you're fond of bites from the robata grill — wagyu, chicken and prawn skewers; miso-marinated toothfish; honey, coriander and mint duck breast; and 48-hour dry-aged coral trout, to name a few options — your tastebuds will also be tempted. The same goes for raw bar fans, with 12- and 24-piece sea-to-table sashimi sets on offer, plus a salmon-only ten-piece set. Or, go for kingfish carpaccio, and catch-of-the-day sushi sets in six or 12 pieces.

The dessert lineup also spans to dark chocolate hemispheres filled with red fruits and topped with raspberry icing, plus caramel puddings.

No matter when you drop by, with the restaurant open for lunch from Friday–Sunday and dinner Monday–Sunday, sake is a big drawcard, sitting alongside a lineup of cocktails and spirits, and a list of Australian, French and Italian wines. So, expect to sip Umenoyado's fruit-flavoured sakes (think: peach, orange, lychee and pineapple), yuzu whisky sours and Matcha-gronis (made on matcha-infused gin, matcha powder, Midori and vermouth), plus a range of Japanese gins and whiskies.

Although the entire space is both secluded, diners can also choose between two private dining spaces that seat ten–12 guests.

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