As you’re seated at Future Future, the bubbly staff will present you with a bowl of sweet-potato crisps and a cup of camomile, green and mandarin-rind tea on the house. If the room’s exposed brick, dented walls and pixelated window decals didn’t already clue you in, this isn’t a typical Japanese restaurant.
The food is fun and accessible. It’s markedly untraditional, but authentic in its simplicity. Raw Wagyu strip loin is sliced tissue-thin and laid on top of wasabi-spiked creme fraiche, then sprinkled with toasted wild rice. In another small dish, cubes of raw tuna are tossed with matching cubes of avocado tofu – tofu made in-house from soy milk and pureed avocado – which has a light, mousse-y texture. The dish was inspired by Sorano, a tofu restaurant in Tokyo.
The heavier end of the menu carries Wagyu sirloin marinated in miso for 10 days and grilled hapuka (a fish similar to bass or groper) with seaweed lemon butter, as well as a monstrous okonomiyaki; a dinner-plate sized matcha crepe filled with cabbage, onion and pickled ginger, smothered in Japanese barbeque sauce and Kewpie mayonnaise. Provolone cheese anchors the umami without adding overpowering richness. The kitchen also sends out donburi bowls and flames yakitori skewers to order.
Cleanse your palate with sips of sparkling cucumber water, which is $5 per head for the duration of the meal. It’s small, significant details such as this – and the Australian art on the walls from government initiative Artbank – that make Future Future stand out, just like sister restaurant Congress.