Like a view with your imported beer, or an ocean zephyr to compliment your nori rolls? Ichi Ni Izakaya thinks you might. Right next door to Melbourne institution, The Espy, this place is a vibrant casual dining jewel on the Esplanade strip of St Kilda, with an unimpeded view of Port Phillip Bay.

Sprawled on the expansive front veranda, choose from sticky yakitori skewers, the cool flavours of fresh sashimi and a long list of Sake or Japanese beers. For a more performative touch, you can’t beat sitting at the open kitchen/sushi bar where you can watch the chefs in action from three sides – and it’s pretty thrilling being that close to the chefs artfully slicing and dicing with samurai sharp blades.

There’s a sense of theatre here – from the hypnotising emerald green ceiling, to the raised levels and vibrant red curtains. And that balcony is a winner.

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Updated: February 19th, 2024

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