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Ima Asa Yoru

A Brunswick cafe serving up Japanese breakfast, lunch and dinner.
By Elizabeth Maidment and Gary Brun
October 13, 2023
By Elizabeth Maidment and Gary Brun
October 13, 2023

The Melbourne cafe scene reeled when Carlton's Ima Project Cafe closed at the beginning of 2023 — but this spot was not down for long. A few months later, it respawned in Brunswick under the new name Ima Asa Yoru. And the Japanese cafe only came back bigger and better. The new spot not only serves up breakfast and lunch, but heroes izakaya eats for dinner. It's even created its own Japanese grocer next door, Ima Pantry. Here, you'll find imported Japanese produce and stacks of local artisanal products.

But back to the cafe for a moment. It heroes misshapen fruit and veg — with 'ugly' mascots painted on the window and printed on coffee cups — but its commitment to sustainability extends to proteins, too, with the team sourcing ethically farmed fish and using predominantly ocean trout (as it is one of the most sustainably farmed).

Japanese breakfast and lunch at Ima Asa Yoru in Brunswick

Albert Chandra

Fans of the old spot will be glad to know the signature teishoku (a Japanese set meal of rice, miso soup, pickles and your choice of either fish or eggplant) still lives on in Brunswick, alongside a whole host of new dishes.

Try Ima Asa Yoru's chirashi, a bowl full of seasoned sushi rice topped with kingfish, tamagoyaki (a perfectly rolled omelette) and rice puffs; mentaiko (cod roe) on Japanese milk bread; and mazesoba, a dry noodle dish with minced pork, vegetables and an onsen egg. This clearly ain't your average Melbourne breakfast spot.

To drink, there's coffee from Wide Open Road and single-origin matcha and hojicha (roasted green tea) lattes, plus Mork hot chocolate and a long list of fresh juices. Ima Asa Yoru is hitting all our brunch-loving buttons.

Appears in:
Where to Find the Best Breakfast in Melbourne

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