There are just a few sittings a week at Omotenashi, the 12-seat Japanese restaurant in an unmarked alleyway behind Hobart’s Elizabeth Street Lexus showroom. It’s run by chefs Lachlan Colwill and Sophie Pope (both ex-Dier Makr, and the now-closed Port Cygnet Cannery).

The partners (in business and life) work from a pocket-sized open kitchen, bringing a dose of theatrics to each meal. You might find Colwill slicing house-cured albacore tuna or calamari noodles, explaining his technique as he serves them up, while Pope talks you through the Tasmanian growers behind their produce – whether it’s locally grown Shima wasabi, line-caught seafood by Aiden Jackson, or Robbins Island Wagyu.

The degustation-style menu involves numerous courses and thoughtful drink pairings. Sample starters include a variety of bite-sized, house-fermented vegetables, such as tomatillo, hakurei (a Japanese radish) or golden beets. A seafood course might involve delicate sashimi or blue swimmer crab with toasted shokupan. Pope’s pastry background shines through in creations like fermented leek danish, and apple and rosemary pie, while dessert often features fruity ice-cream, churned in-house using a 1986 Carpigiani ice-cream machine. Whatever’s set in front of you that day, it’s sure to look like a frameable work of art.

Drinks are light, refreshing and lean low ABV. Most wines come from Tasmania (R D’meure and Sailor Seeks Horse are firm favourites) with a few international, mostly French, drops making the cut. Sakes are all from Japan, while non-alcoholic drinks are made in-house from fruit, foraged flowers and fermented ingredients – which the duo will talk you through as you sip.

Contact Details

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Updated: April 3rd, 2024

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