This two-part Japanese diner has big love for premium wagyu — and a ten-seat chef's table that's serving Melbourne's only dedicated wagyu omakase.
May 17, 2023
Melbourne's ever evolving Japanese dining scene has left us totally spoilt for choice — and with standout omakase menus to suit every kind of palate. But if wagyu is the way to your heart, there's one of these degustation adventures that'll especially impress.
In addition to its yakitori-focused casual eatery, South Yarra's Yakikami is home to a stellar chef's table experience, which unfolds behind a curtain in the ten-seat Josper Room. This intimate dining space celebrates some of the world's finest wagyu while heroing its Josper grill, via the 12-course Niku Kappo Wagyu Omakase ($285). The hospitality crew behind it, Wagyu Ya Group, have the only Japanese restaurants in the state that are certified to serve Kobe wagyu beef, while Yakikami is plating up the city's only dedicated wagyu omakase.
The menu here is rich, packed with flavour and brimming with clever technique. And the latter is even more impressive as you see it deftly executed by the team in front of your eyes, while Head Chef Hirokazu Sasaki explains various elements and charmingly chats diners through the premium meat cuts.
Expect memorable dishes like the Josper-grilled tenderloin, an indulgent wagyu katsu sando with truffle butter, slow-poached rib finger stew served atop parsnip puree, truffled carpaccio and wagyu sirloin sukiyaki. There's an expertly curated wine and sake pairing available for $150, or you can match your feast with a lineup of mocktails for $75.
Meanwhile, the main dining room is your go-to for a more casual feed, heroing yakitori cooked on a binchotan grill, alongside a slew of other Japanese classics. Here, the love for primo wagyu continues, though top-notch seafood and pasture-raised chicken are also given plenty of airtime.
Kick things off with the likes of a silky prawn chawanmushi ($22), or various seafood carpaccio and sashimi, before moving onto plates like chicken skin rice ($32), an array of wagyu steak cuts and skewers, and bowls of signature ramen ($29).
Concrete Playground Trips
Book unique getaways and adventures dreamed up by our editors