It’s not quite right to think of Kisume as just one restaurant. There are really two distinct restaurants and a bar, spread across three levels. Each ascending floor ramps up the formality – and intensity.
On the ground floor and in the basement, Kisume presents punchy, smashable takes on Japanese food, with both hot and cold menus. Up top, adjacent to The Chablis Bar, there’s Kuro Kisume.
Kuro comprises two private dining rooms, in addition to The Table. The Table, a horse-shoe shaped 12-seat bamboo table, is housed in its own room. In the centre, there’s room for a senior chef to guide 12 well-heeled diners through a 15-course Japanese degustation known as kaiseki.
Kaiseki is all about superlatives: the best ingredients, the best presentation, the best service. (It’s also worth noting that kaiseki, which mixes raw, steamed and grilled dishes, is different from omakase, a multi-course chef’s selection of sashimi and sushi.)
The Table at Kuro Kisume is part-meal and part-educational experience. Seasonal Australian ingredients are placed centre stage and are interpreted through a lens which combines the hallmarks of traditional Japanese cuisine with owner Chris Lucas’s patented disregard for culinary convention. The result is truly unique.
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