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Chris Lucas' New Fire-Driven Japanese Eatery Yakimono Will Open Next Month

80 Collins' newest resident features a futuristic aesthetic and a menu filled with Japanese street food that's cooked over flames.
By Libby Curran
October 19, 2021
By Libby Curran
October 19, 2021

If it feels like back-to-back lockdowns have completely warped your sense of time, you're not alone. Suddenly, here we are, hurtling towards the end of the year — and towards a bunch of new venue openings that are absolute fire. One such venue is Chris Lucas' (Chin Chin, Hawker Hall, Kisume) new venture, Yakimono — a two-storey Japanese diner with a street food menu that's fuelled by fire.

Opening its doors on November 5, the restaurant is the newest addition to the 80 Collins precinct and neighbour to fellow Lucas Group haunt Society. An ode to the late-night izakayas of Tokyo — where Lucas spent three years living and working — Yakimono is set to serve up a fresh riff on Japanese street eats, melding classic flavours with a touch of Melbourne flair.

Heading up the kitchen is none other than Daniel Wilson, the OG mind behind Huxtaburger. He's plating up an offering of adventurous dishes here, with bites like spicy beef tartare, curried sweet potato gyoza with miso apple yoghurt, and skewers of wagyu beef intercostal in a smoky soy glaze.

Barbecued pork cheek is finished with sesame and fermented chilli; a whole miso-glazed chook comes teamed with smoked chicken fat rice, charcoal salt and a spicy slaw; and a dish of smoked eel udon features shimeji mushrooms and an onsen egg. Oh, and a mochi waffle with hazelnut buttercream and salted macadamia praline beckons from the dessert list.

Meanwhile, the bar will be pouring ten beers and four wines on tap, alongside a selection of bottled vino and sake that doesn't take itself too seriously. A range of Japanese-accented cocktails and bubble tea rounds out the liquid fun.

The space itself is moody, yet colourful, with digital art and clever lighting lending a futuristic edge. Both the central open kitchen and the bar feature ringside seats for those wanting to be close to the action, while the Corner Room boasts private dining for up to 14 guests.

Yakimono opens at 80 Collins Street, Melbourne from November 5. It'll open daily from 12pm–late, with dinner service only for the first week of operation.

Venue Images: Tom Blachford. Food Images: Julian Lallo and Adrian Lander

Published on October 19, 2021 by Libby Curran


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