This little Richmond eatery is slinging meatball katsu-sandos, donburi bowls, cocktails and rare Japanese sake.
As its name suggests, Melbourne's newest Japanese-accented restaurant leans right into the contemporary. The Future Future has officially arrived — in Richmond, at least — and it's already wowing with its incredibly considered offering.
Design-wise, the Swan Street eatery wholeheartedly embraces that Japanese concept of wabi-sabi — that is, exploring the beauty in imperfection — as well as the philosophy of omotenashi, which is the concept of offering primo service without expectation of a reward.
Out of the kitchen comes a technique-driven menu that's high on creativity and filled with revamps of classic Japanese dishes, that are fun, yet innovative. Unsurprising, given head chef Atsushi Kawakami's resume includes stints at some of Melbourne's hottest Japanese eateries, including Kappo, Izakaya Den and Hihou.
You're in for plates like raw wagyu teamed with puffed wild rice and a wasabi-infused creme fraiche, meatball katsu-sandos, and donburi rice bowls filled with combinations like sweet-soy salmon, crisp tofu skins and green tea dashi broth. The hibachi grill also gets a solid workout, turning out skewers threaded with panko-crumbed barramundi, kewpie and tobiko, or maybe Japanese chicken meatballs, matched with sweet soy and an onsen egg.
The drinks offering champions quality over quantity, running to an interesting lineup of whisky, sake, wine and beer from both Australia and Japan. Right now, you'll find the likes of a friulano and a pinot noir, both on tap, from the Mornington Peninsula's legendary Quealy Winemakers, alongside selections from one of the world's only female-owned and -led sake breweries, Japan's Imada. Crafty cocktails include the likes of the Tokyo Express-o, blending vodka, cold drip coffee, umeshu and maple syrup, and the Harajuku Highball, featuring strawberry whisky and vermouth.
Meanwhile, a custom line of dapper tea cups, sake sets and candle holders round out the slew of thoughtful touches, courtesy of Copenhagen's Studio Arhoj.
Images: Josh Robenstone.