The San Telmo Group's playful take on modern Japanese barbecue heroes skewers cooked over charcoal and cleverly reworked classic cocktails.
Libby Curran
September 29, 2021


The team behind South American restaurants San Telmo, Pastuso, Palermo and Asado has switched continents entirely for its latest venture: Robata Japanese Grill.

A playful, minimalist space with futuristic elements and neon lights aplenty, the restaurant takes its cues from the streets of Tokyo. It's embracing the art of charcoal grilling as enthusiastically as the rest of its stable, though with Japanese techniques and traditions at the forefront, and a custom-built robatayaki grill taking centre-stage in the kitchen.

An izakaya-style menu by former San Telmo Head Chef Stephen Clark is headlined by a slew of yakitori and kushiyaki skewers, cooked over charcoal. Choose from the likes of chicken meatballs with cured yolk and tare sauce ($9), miso-marinated pork belly ($10), and scallops dressed in sweet soy with tobiko ($9). Other snacks run to the likes of various sashimi and a wagyu flank tataki ($25), while bigger bites might include a chargrilled pork cutlet with black sesame glaze and wasabi leaf ($40), and duck matched with salted plum sauce and pickled sansho pepper ($44). Add a side of brussels sprouts elevated with tuna flakes and goma dare (sesame sauce) ($14), and try the miso caramel apple mille-feuille ($14) for dessert.

An expertly curated drinks lineup stars an abundance of top-notch drops, ranging from Coedo craft brews to bottles of local chardonnay. The bar's pouring a strong spread of imported sake and Japanese whisky, while cocktails include the likes of an umeshu and yuzu negroni ($22), and the sake and hojicha tea highball ($16).

Updated Friday, September 9, 2022.


Appears in:

The Best Restaurants in Melbourne for 2023


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