Chef and restaurateur Spring Chee has a thing for omurice. On a recent trip to Japan, Chee fell for the homey dish, which sees a plain omelette draped over tomato sauce-flavoured rice like a blanket.

She fell so hard that she tried the omurice at almost every restaurant she visited. “The thing is, they actually do it in all different ways. Not only in the taste, but also presentation,” she tells Broadsheet. After trying countless iterations, the version she crowned the best was one she had in a friend’s home, served alongside their family curry.

The version at Chee’s new spot – Tokyo Moto in Bourke Street’s Midcity Centre – features a Korean-style tornado omelette accompanied by Japanese curry. The dish starts at $12.50, but you can add accompaniments like chicken katsu, vegetable tempura and a hamburger patty.

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Here, the curry is made with an aged roux – left overnight to allow the flavours to develop – and sweetened with stone fruits and Victorian honey instead of cane sugar.

Beyond omurice, you’ll find donburi (rice bowls) with toppings like prawn katsu and unagi tamagoyaki (rolled omelette filled with eel); takoyaki (a ping-pong-ball-sized snack filled with octopus); and Sapporo-spice miso ramen served with a wafer cone of soft-serve in the middle of the bowl. (“Would you dare to try?” reads a line on the menu.)

Chee designed the Tokyo Motto space and all the graphics herself. With its red and blue neon signs, black detailing and tinted glass walls, the diner is meant to evoke the alleyways of Tokyo.

Come 9pm, you can expect a shift in vibe as Tokyo Motto transforms into an izakaya with dimmed lights, beer, sake and plenty of karaage. The joint stays open until 1am on weekends, when Chee hopes to provide a taste of Tokyo’s vibrant Tokyo nightlife.

“In Tokyo, people finish work and they don’t go home – they go to a bar, they drink, they keep going. That’s what we’re trying to bring over here.”

This article was updated on April 4 2024 to reflect changes in menu pricing.

Tokyo Motto
Shop 23 & 23A Midcity Centre, 200 Bourke Street, Melbourne
No phone

Mon to Thurs, Sun 12pm–11pm
Fri & Sat 12pm–1am