The Playmaker
Let's play
  • It's Thursday
    What day is it?
  • Now
    What time is it?
  • Anywhere in Melbourne
    Where are you?
  • What do you feel like?
    What do you feel like?
  • And what else?
    And what else?


This modern chef's table-style menu in South Yarra is an intimate, sumptuous experience that celebrates the creative and the contemporary.
By Ellen Seah
August 28, 2023
By Ellen Seah
August 28, 2023

Melbourne has fallen a little in love with omakase, a Japanese philosophy derived from the phrase 'leave it to the chef'. From omakase served in subterranean spaces to untraditional, flame-filled menus — omakase is certainly having a moment in Melbourne. Carving out its own unique offering is Aoi Tsuki, a pint-sized, 12-seat omakase bar nestled on a busy section of Punt Road.

Traditional Japanese, this is not. But, for head chefs Tei Gim and Jun Pak, this is the best way to enjoy food — a regularly rotating 20-course menu, underpinned by a deep respect for seasonality. It's an intimate, sumptuous experience that celebrates the creative and the contemporary — without pretension.

Two chefs preparing food at Aoi Tsuki, South Yarra

When Concrete Playground visited, the culinary lineup ran to the likes of a well-balanced Miyagi oyster, chawanmushi refreshed with spanner crab, and a standout abalone dish paired with a thick, rich abalone sauce and vinegar-spiked rice. The highlight of this smart exploration of contemporary Japanese comes in the form of a nigiri series: ika (squid) dusted with lime zest, two-day dry-aged snapper from New Zealand and bluefin tuna marinated in soy, laid upon expertly-crafted sushi rice.

Tuna belly is elevated with caviar, thinly-sliced wagyu is paired with shavings of foie gras, and a swordfish nigiri stars fermented yuzu chilli. Also of particular note: a clever execution of seared paradise prawns, along with grilled Hokkaido scallops married with miso cream.

Aoi Tsuki, South Yarra

Aoi Tsuki's experiential dining adventure clocks in at $235 per person, with a paired sake flight or a tidy drinks menu available to add on.

Images: Griffin Simm, Tran Nguyen, supplied.

  •   shares
Tap and select Add to Home Screen to access Concrete Playground easily next time. x
Counter Pixel