Hihou, the Japanese-influenced bar that sits atop Nama Nama on Flinders Lane, is now open for lunch. But don’t expect run-of-the-mill Japanese lunch fare as you take in the beautiful views of Treasury Gardens. The set menu offers an elegant two-course lunch with tea or coffee that is satisfying but not so filling that you fall into a food coma by 3pm.

The first course is hassun, a selection of seasonal cold starters. In this case, that means sashimi that melts, a dainty salad of crunchy snow peas and sweet raw scallops, and green beans with a twist of shaved vegetables.

There are three options for the main. The Tasmanian red bream is submerged in gin-an sauce and served with soy beans, white rice and miso soup. The seared Angus rump is deliciously salty and tender and comes with a vibrant yakiniku sauce, brown rice, grilled daikon and sumaschi clear soup. The handmade udon, meanwhile, arrives with Cloudy Bay diamond clams, kansai broth and fried bean curd.

There are appetisers too, with Coffin Bay oysters, barbecued prawns, salads and a daily selection of sashimi sliced to order.

Pair lunch with one of the well-chosen wines, order a bottle of sake or some shochu (cocktails aren’t poured at lunch) or simply enjoy with Japanese tea. It’s hard not to be in the mood for dessert when the Japanese treat box is brought out. Tiers of beautifully made, colourful sweet treats are presented with a flourish and range from traditional indulgences made from sweet bean paste to a European-influenced tart. Just try to stop at one.

Lunch at Hihou
First floor, 1 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
(03) 9639 9500

Mon to Fri 11.30am–2.30pm

Set menu, two courses including tea or coffee: $35
Bookings are recommended