Tamura Sake Bar
You'll find matcha IPAs, Japanese fried chicken and vinyl for sale at this Fitzroy bar.
What happens when a former punk rock singer and his hip hop DJ wife, both originally from Japan, decide to open a cosy venue in Fitzroy? Well, if you're Fumi and Takako Tamura, the end result looks a lot like new jazz-infused, Gertrude Street Japanese joint, Tamura Sake Bar.
Heroing an inviting combination of vinyl, izakaya-style plates and sake, it's a refreshing taste of home for the couple — a little more grown-up than their earlier venue Horse Bazaar, and sure to spark a few memories of your own jaunts to Japan.
The space is intimate and the food offering broad, headlined by Japanese snacks designed to be enjoyed with a drink in hand and good company at the table. There's a daily changing pickle option, along with a selection of yakitori and bites like miso eggplant and crispy salmon skin.
A lineup of sashimi is also on offer and might feature black sesame tuna or fresh scallops matched with shio kombu salt. Elsewhere, you'll find yourself tucking into crunchy Japanese fried chicken, rich bowls of ramen and mixed vegetable tempura.
A variety of set menus keeps things easy, starting at just $35 for an assortment of yakitori, fried delights, rice, miso soup and karaage. Pair it with a WA wine or an Asian craft brew (including a matcha IPA from Kyoto and an Okinawa sour), or take advantage of a sake selection that's both considered and approachable. Umeshu (plum wine) and whisky are also in strong supply.
The matching vinyls — which spin every night and are also available to buy — have been curated by a crew of acclaimed Japanese DJs and producers, featuring a healthy dose of jazz, a sprinkling of hip hop and even a few records that usually aren't usually available outside of Japan.
Images: Kate Shanasy.