Uminono’s founder, Normandy-raised chef Arnaud Laidebeur, is serious about sushi. As a boy, he dreamed of opening a restaurant and spent years building up an impressive culinary resume. Before falling for sushi, he graduated from one of France’s top culinary schools, Institut Paul Bocuse, and interned at Michelin-starred restaurants.

He eventually went to Bordeaux and took a summer job working under a master sushi chef from Tokyo. That’s when he discovered a love for the cuisine and took it upon himself to learn everything he possibly could about sushi-making.

At 12-seat diner Uminono – a combination of umi, the Japanese word for “sea”, and Leidebeur’s nickname, Nono – the chef pays homage to Japanese cuisine while injecting some of his own flourishes.

Diners can opt for a relatively simple chirashi bowl (a variety of sashimi artfully arranged on lightly flavoured sushi rice), but the flagship experience is the 11-course omakase. It consists of plates like dry-aged kingfish sashimi with lime zest and roasted spring onion oil, Hokkaido scallops with burnt orange gel, New Caledonia paradise prawns with sesame miso, lightly torched Ora King salmon served with crackling skin and kombu salt underneath, and crispy tuna handrolls made with seaweed from Kumamoto. All of which can be paired with sake, champagne, cocktails or wine, which comes mostly from France.

Those who prefer to eat their sushi at home need not worry. The takeaway sushi boxes that originally made Uminono popular during Melbourne’s first lockdown are still available to order for pick up in the late afternoon and early evening.

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Updated: June 20th, 2023

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