Inspired by the alternative music scene that underpins it, Prince wants to give diners a taste of the unexpected at Kid Kyoto. “While I think that Japanese food in Australia is very good, we can do more,” he says. “One of the most important things for us was thinking of ways we could innovate and really bring something different to the Australian palate.”
Gee worked with his team of chefs to develop a menu that pays homage to classic Japanese flavours while toying with surprising ingredients and textures. “People aren’t going to be getting the usual takes, like sushi, sashimi,” he says. A lot of time was spent looking at the fundamentals of Japanese cuisine before “flipping it on its side”. Gee describes the cooking at Kid Kyoto as “Japanese with a sprinkle of Nine Inch Nails on top”. This rock ‘n’ roll approach comes through in Black Hole Sun, a dish of slow-cooked pork belly with nori jam, apple and pickled radish.
There’s a strong seafood bent too, raw dishes like smoking salmon sashimi and cold squid ‘udon’ salad pique the taste buds. Meanwhile, the Cloudy Bay clams with bonito schmaltz and roast tomato miso is a nod to Gee’s New Zealand and Jewish heritage.
To quench your thirst there’s a selection of sakes and Japanese whiskeys fit for an emperor. For those more cocktail inclined, the folks from Archie Rose have teamed with Kid Kyoto to develop a bespoke gin, which combines with Noilly Prat and junmai daiginjo sake in the Kid Kyo-tini. The Ama-tonic is a magic muddle of shiso sake, yuzu marmalade and a house-made cherry tonic.
CHEF’S PICK: FOUR DISHES TO ORDER
So what should you order? Gee has spent months on this menu, so we thought he’d be the best person to ask. Here’s five of his favourite dishes on the menu at Kid Kyoto.