Bounty of the Sun
Bounty of the Sun is a sleek izakaya just around the corner from the bustle of Carlisle Street. It’s all about small plates of Japanese snacks designed to be eaten with a drink (or many) and shared with your mates.
Inside, the first thing you’re likely to notice is the hundreds of individual pieces of pine that hang from the ceiling. Whenever someone opens the door, wind rushes in and the pine pieces come alive, rippling like chimes.
Closer to eye level, most of the seating consists of long communal tables. Bounty of the Sun is good for groups as well as smaller parties looking to strike up a conversation with their neighbours. An open kitchen adds to the space’s inclusive feel.
Owners Ryo Doyama, Eben Hocking and Bill Stafilis all have roots in Melbourne’s cafe scene. At Bounty, they wanted to replicate that community cafe culture – the feeling you might have when you visit your local and order the usual. The team here will remember your name, and likely what you prefer to eat and drink, too.
The tight menu of dishes is designed to share. This is crowd-pleasing drinking food: gyoza, edamame, fries and tofu are all involved. They’re joined by the odd yoshoku (Western dishes cooked Japanese-style) option, like a corn dog with Kewpie mayo, and straight-up fusion such as a miso baba ganoush on toast.
The chicken nanban – lightly fried chicken served in a sweet-and-sour broth – is a must with an ice-cold Asahi, and there are plenty of other Japanese beers on tap and in the fridge too. Signature cocktails are all inspired by Japan; go for a classic Whisky Highball if you’re keeping things simple. More out-there options include the Cucumber and Shisho Gimlet, the Honey Hachi and the Mandarin Old Fashioned.