Opening this November on Bridge Lane, Kid Kyoto will offer an alternative take on Japanese dining, inspired by the grungy, unplugged sounds of the late ’80s and ’90s. It is the latest CBD venue by the Sam Prince Hospitality Group (joining Indu and Mejico).
The restaurant will accommodate 120 covers and will include a chef’s table offering an Omakase menu (which in Japanese translates to “I’ll leave it up to you”), pulling out the best dishes on offer.
A la carte dishes will largely focus on the casual and informal izakaya-style of dining, split between small share plates and raw seafood dishes. The kitchen will be crowned by a large robata grill as a large portion of the menu is cooked over Japanese charcoal. Expect blackened oyster with pickled ginger, umeboshi mayonnaise and kimchi granita on the opening menu.
The dish Prout is most excited about? “The squid udon. The chef basically sous-vides the squid, treats it and then cuts it into strips so that it appears to be an udon noodle. It’s added to a beautiful salad with edamame and native Australian herbs with a smoked-tomato dashi,” says Prout.
Such dishes reflect the border-crossing attitude here. “We’re definitely not a traditional restaurant,” he says. “We’re utilising Australian ingredients but giving them a Japanese-Australian take.”
The cocktail list is being developed with Archie Rose Distillery and will include the Kid Kyo-tini with Archie Rose KK blended gin, Noilly Prat, Junmai sake and homemade fennel and edamame shrub, and the Japanese Combo with Campari, Amaretto, coffee-infused Beefeater and tobacco syrup.
There will be three three-metre-high neon-lit artworks placed in the windows. The interiors of the heritage-listed site include polished concrete and exposed brickwork. “The interior has a raw femininity to it with a punky Nirvana, Radiohead, Björk playlist playing in the background. It was this music that inspired the menu, if you like,” Prout says. "It’s going to be relatively grungy in a kind of izakaya style as they are in Kyoto and Tokyo in Japan.”
Kid Kyoto is opening November 20.
Article updated November 7.