Chawanmushi, a savoury Japanese dish of steamed egg custard, is often served as part of an omakase menu. It’s usually cooked with dashi, resulting in a silky, umami-packed custard, and served in a teacup or other small vessel (“chawan” translates from Japanese to mean “tea bowl”). Here are three versions to try in Melbourne.

Bansho

This Armadale restaurant marries techniques and ingredients from French and Japanese cuisines. Its take on chawanmushi comes with spanner crab, celeriac vichyssoise (a soup often credited to French American Ritz-Carlton chef Louis Diat) and Avruga caviar.

Yakikami

Yakikami is perhaps best known for its omakase experience where diners are presented with Wagyu in a Louis Vuitton suitcase, but the South Yarra restaurant also has a notable chawanmushi, served with sliced Tasmanian green-lip abalone and foie-gras dashi.

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Akaiito

The dining room at Akaiito is full of brooding black marble, dark granite flooring and plush grey banquettes. But these all defer to the luminous red thread installation that represents akai ito, “the red thread of fate” that binds soulmates together in Japanese mythology. The Flinders Lane restaurant serves spanner-crab chawanmushi with aged pork dashi and foie gras as part of its omakase offering.