Ada Chen and Shammi Liang, the minds behind Box Hill diner Katori, figure yakiniku – a Japanese style of eating where you grill your own meat – is the perfect way to showcase local and Japanese Wagyu. Here, there are no marinades, just thinly sliced strips of beef, salt, a spice mix and lemon wedges delivered to your table for you to cook to your preference.
At the centre of each table is a charcoal grill imported from Japan, fitted with ventilation shafts that suck the smoke through the table to prevent it from choking up the restaurant.
Executive chef Kengo Hiromatsu, of Nobu and Sake Flinders Lane, and head chef Yasuo Matsuike, of Nobu and Sydney’s Azuma, are also serving sushi-grade tuna as tataki, toro tataki, king prawns with citrus and chilli ponzu and crisp daikon salad, alongside noodle and rice dishes.
On the drinks side, cocktails tend light and fruity to play off the richness of all that Wagyu, with the occasional punchier Japanese take on a classic, such as a Manhattan made with Nikka whisky. There's also a long list of sake and Japanese whisky, including a 17-year-old Hibiki for $151. Beers include Sapporo on tap and Kirin Ichiban by the bottle.