When Motomu Kumano saw an opportunity to bring one of Melbourne’s great Japanese restaurants to Brisbane, he jumped at the chance. The acclaimed chef opened Komeyui Brisbane on the first Friday of 2023, in a long space tucked under the old Australian Federal Police building on Wharf Street.
The Baenziger Coles-designed space echoes South Melbourne with its slate-tile floors, handsome furniture and striking artwork, but has been given a lighter touch with pine timber surfaces and cabinetry. Pride of place is a raised 12-metre-long counter where diners can sit and watch the chefs as they serve a multi-course omakase menu or prepare dishes for the dining room proper.
Behind the sushi counter is a large traditional cast-iron rice cooker called a hagama; the cooking method dates back more than a thousand years and brings out a natural sweetness in the grain. It’s the cornerstone for a menu that ranges from seasonal sashimi and nigiri to cooked items that can be ordered à la carte.
For drinks, there’s a selection of signature cocktails, including a sake Martini; shochu, gin and whisky highballs; a tight selection of Australian, New Zealand and French wines designed to be paired with certain courses; and a healthy collection of sake.
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