UPDATE: May 5, 2020 — Collingwood's art-clad gyoza bar has natural wine, katsu curries and a bunch of dumplings available for pick up and home delivery. You can order over here.
If you've ventured down Collingwood's Wellington Street lately, you probably would have been intrigued by a certain eye-catching corner building, decked out with a bold black and white façade. Melbourne, meet Chotto Motto.
The lively Japanese haunt is a joint effort from Dylan Jones and Tomoya Kawasaki, the latter who is behind fellow mod-Japanese hits Wabi Sabi Salon and Neko Neko. Kawasaki is also the voice behind Jones' affirmation-slinging Instagram pooch, Tofu Pupper.
At Chotto Motto, it's the humble gyoza that reigns supreme, specifically crisp-based Hamamatsu-style dumplings that are served as a group, flipped upside down. Grab a 10 or 20-piece feed, in flavours like spicy kimchi miso pork, free-range chicken and coriander, or the vegan-friendly nasu dengaku eggplant.
Small plates might include the likes of furikake-seasoned fries, taco-style wagyu teriyaki roll-ups, or crisp cauliflower karaage matched to a Thai basil mayo. A tidy range of katsu sandwiches is also on the cards — get excited for these classic combinations of white bread, cabbage slaw and tonkatsu sauce, sandwiched with panko fried prawn croquettes, or maybe some crunchy katsu chicken.
A Japanese vending machine comes stocked with a hefty range of imported craft beers, and the cocktail lineup rocks a distinct Japanese twist — and features an interesting matcha sour. There's soft serve to finish, too, with a new flavour rotating each month.
The space itself is equally upbeat, between the Japanese slot machine, the neon glow and an assortment of knick knacks scattered throughout. You'll catch a vibrant mural by Mitch Walder gracing one interior wall, while outside's head-turning paint job is the work of Melbourne street artist Chehehe.