After four years as cafe Number 9, this Potts Point space has been transformed. Sleek, understated and a little less ostentatious, the new fit-out now reflects the pared-back, Japanese-influenced menu. Kyu:b (pronounced cube) is a play on words, explains co-owner Lane Finlayson. “Kyu-ban are the Japanese words for the number nine (our address), while B-Kyu Gurume means everyday home-style eating in Japan, and lastly our site is cubic and boxy in dimensions.”

The space is indeed boxy, with tables spaced very close together. This intimacy lends the feeling of being a welcome guest in Finlayson’s home, and he is a very hospitable host. On a break from being Bill Granger’s right-hand-man, Finlayson teamed up with chef Mika Kazato, who spent time as head chef at bills in Surry Hills, to start his own project.

“Mika and I travelled to Japan together with other member of the bills training and management team last year. She and our hosts in Japan helped open my eyes and tastebuds to the greater world of Japanese food. I was particularly taken with the B-Kyu Gourmet movement, including izakaya and the fact that tiny, little restaurants offering their own specialties were not trying to be everything for everyone. This screamed integrity to me,” says Finlayson.

The result is a mixed bag – home-made biltong cured meat along with teriyaki corn cobs, perfectly grilled squid served with a squeeze of lemon and a creamy coleslaw that is a perfect lesson in Japanese simplicity, alongside a crisp, European style schnitzel.

The menu works best for supper rather than a large meal, stretching it out over a few Sapporos or a pinot noir.

9 Ward Avenue, Potts Point
(02) 9331 5378

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