Warm up your Outlook calendar notifications, ladies and gentleman: Marumo is about to release its summer reservations.
At 10am on Monday October 3, the cult Nedlands Japanese restaurant will begin accepting online bookings for December, January and February. If previous releases are anything to go by, there’s a strong chance that all the tables will be snapped up in less than 15 minutes. That’s an impressive statistic by any restaurant’s standards, Perth or otherwise.
The reason for this online feeding frenzy? Chef Moe Oo’s value-packed $65 omakase offering, seven courses – nine if you include the appetiser and sorbet – of deft Japanese cooking. The menu changes each month and, in typical Japanese custom, is designed to celebrate seasonality. Among the dishes served in the past: inari tofu pouches stuffed with blanched cuttlefish, fish eggs and a confetti of nori; precision-cut sashimi including Port Lincoln cuttlefish and sweet Hokkaido scallops; and Oo-san’s uramaki (inside-out) sushi roll stuffed with prawn tempura and seared salmon belly. It’s a meal that tilts the bang-per-buck ratio squarely in the diner’s favourite, not least because the restaurant is also BYO.
Tips for those trying to land a booking? This bento box of a restaurant is occupied largely by tables for twos and fours so keeping your party size small will help your chances. As always, it pays to be flexible with dining dates: be prepared to dine mid-week rather than on weekends. But most importantly, also be prepared to miss out. A seat at Marumo is one of the hottest dining tickets in town.
The good news, however, is that Perth is home to a handful of other omakase dining options, good news for unlucky eaters that miss out (as well as lucky but impatient eaters that can’t wait for their Marumo booking). In a strange twist of fate, one of these options – the $60 meal deal at Ichirin – is served at Marumo’s former home, a suburban fish and chip shop in Leeming. Two days’ notice is required. Closer to the city, the menu at Kiri includes an $80 kaiseki option (one days’ notice requested), while Nobu offers a variety of set-menu options for lunch (from $110) and dinner (from $120).