There’s an underlying calm and subtle cool about the Japanese aesthetic that translates in their sharp style and articulate design and continues through to their delicately-flavoured food and drink. Kumo Izakaya reiterates this concept – a slick eatery and sake den in Brunswick East.

Heading up the team is Japanophile and sake pro Andre Bishop, who is behind some of Melbourne’s favourite Japanese bars including Nihonshu (adjoining Izakaya Chuji), Robot and Golden Monkey.

Kumo Izakaya brings us contemporary Japanese pub-style drinking and casual dining. Tod Eng, San Franciscan sake master, was the consultant on the sake list; which is around 80 sakes strong. Sommelier and seasoned hospitality pro Sally Humble (ex Cutler & Co.) heads the front of house team.

Kumo delivers a range of Japanese beer and authentic izakaya fare, with a twist. The kitchen is led by Akimi Iguchi (formerly of Yu-U and Bar Lourinha) and Eriko Hamabe (ex Kobe Jones and Royal George Hotel). The menu includes yakatori and sashimi but also dishes like stuffed prunes with sesame butter, Parmesan rice crackers with miso dip, duck fillet with cumquat sauce and black sugar-cured salmon.

The izakaya is housed in an old ANZ Bank, and sits on a corner with one side of the restaurant exposed to the street via a large window, giving the space an open, airy feel – hence the name Kumo, which means cloud. After a few sakes and a bite to eat you may well feel like you are on one.