Sushi is less a food than it is a highly codified artform. There are dozens of subtle variables in every piece, including the types of rice and vinegar used; the wrapping material; the rolling or stacking method; the variety of fish and the way it's cut. It's no wonder it can take decades to become a sushi master.

These days there's a handful of these people slicing around Melbourne. Whether you're into classic tuna nigiri or unagi (eel) rolled up maki-style, these are the spots to taste their years of devoted practice.

Minamishima

Prepare for 15 sublime courses, using seafood flown direct from Tokyo.

4 Lord Street, Richmond

Shira Nui

Owner Hiro Nishikura has 40 years' experience, including 12 months of just washing rice.

247 Springvale Road, Glen Waverley

Kisumé

This experienced kitchen team works exclusively with seafood from Australia and New Zealand.

175 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
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Kenzan

Hard-to-find cuts since 1981.

Lower Level Collins Place 45 Collins Street, Melbourne

Nobu

The Japanese chain that's just about conquered the world.

Crown Riverwalk, Crown Melbourne 8 Whiteman Street, Southbank
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Saké Restaurant & Bar - St Kilda Road

Traditional or fusion? It serves both.

100 St Kilda Road, Melbourne
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Saké Restaurant & Bar – Flinders Lane

Repeats the winning formula.

121 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
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