321 Bay St
port melbourne,


opening time dinner
options accepts reserving, licensed, degustation
cellphone 03 9913 9424

It is a leap from the safety of a long-term job at Crown to a self-funded storefront restaurant in Port Melbourne, however the transition is made by Jimson (Martin) Kim. After working as a sushi chef at Coco at On line casino for the previous 12 years, Kim determined he wished his personal enterprise – an omakase sushi restaurant, which solely serves a couple of prospects per night.

He researched varied neighbourhoods, trying on the availability of excellent sushi (plentiful within the CBD), in addition to the financial demographics of the totally different areas, and settled on Port Melbourne. And in early August, he opened the door to Asoko, a challenge he sees because the end result of 20 years working at high-end Japanese eating places.

Asoko is a spare room, primarily embellished with bamboo woods within the home windows and bottles of sake on the partitions. There are a couple of tables, however for now they are going unused – as much as 10 prospects, who are available in at 6 p.m. to take a seat at evening, sit across the sushi bar.

Otsukuri (sashimi plate of the day). Photograph: Justin McManus

Kim, initially from Korea, supervises among the cooks whereas working as host and server. As a result of the variety of prospects is so restricted (solely 5 individuals had been consuming throughout my go to), the eating interval right here is pleasant and intimate.

I’ve had unimaginable sushi at related omakase eating places in Japan and the US the place the ambiance was someplace between church and army camp: you revered the chef and the meals; You adopted orders. Kim started chatting with the visitors and enthusiastically defined the menu and her hopes for her restaurant. “I would like it to be an entry-level omakase when it comes to worth,” he advised us, “however superb worth when it comes to high quality.”

At $140 per individual, this may seem to be a stretch. However whenever you take a look at related experiences in Melbourne (and past), you get their level: Minamishima is $265 per individual; The wonderful new omakase restaurant at W Resort, Warabi, is $245.

Appetizer plate with raw and cooked slices of Wagyu, an oyster with ponzu, lightly cooked salmon and a small dish of spinach.

Appetizer plate with uncooked and cooked slices of Wagyu, an oyster with ponzu, evenly cooked salmon and a small dish of spinach. Photograph: Justin McManus

These locations are little in comparison with the Asoko expertise, however I am unsure that issue makes them inherently higher. It is a extra human expertise – a chef/proprietor/operator invitations you to his place, serves you water and drinks, and acts with a real sense of welcome.

Dinner begins with an appetizer plate that consists of uncooked and cooked slices of Wagyu, an oyster topped with ponzu, a small dish of gentle salmon salmon and spinach. Then comes the night sashimi: a roll product of butter kingfish slices, agency snapper, and minced tuna with out rice, served with freshly grated wasabi. Every dish is handed over-the-counter by the chef and defined intimately.

The principle occasion of the night is the parade of nigiri, which is held on the counter as every bit is made. The fish itself is outstanding – I will get to that in a second – however what struck me most was the standard and care of the rice.

Jimson (Martin) Kim holding a scallop nigiri.

Jimson (Martin) Kim holding a scallop nigiri. Photograph: Justin McManus

Evenly vinegared and barely heat, every grain separate however sticky sufficient to carry collectively, that is rice made by individuals who actually care about rice. Have you ever ever heard how sushi cooks spend years studying how one can make rice, and questioned the way it might be? Go to Asoko and you will get some concept of ​​the distinction.

However the fish can be worthy of adoration, particularly varieties not typically seen on Australian sushi menus. The uncooked duckfish, evenly brushed with soy, was opalescent and agency and delicious. A plump uncooked scallop, served over rice on a strip of nori like a small taco, was most likely the sweetest, richest scallop I’ve ever had.

A paradise shrimp is barely cooked to carry out its greatest qualities, and the top later is available in a small bowl of deeply flavored miso soup. A small salad of uncooked fish, cucumber and tomato is served in the course of the sushi parade to function a palate cleanse among the many recent and oily fish varieties. It is a menu introduced with utmost ability and a perfectionist degree of element.

Go-to Dish: Scallop Nigiri with Nori.

Go-to Dish: Scallop Nigiri with Nori. Photograph: Justin McManus

What’s undeniably higher at slicker joints within the metropolis is the standard and number of drinks served. Asoko has a sake checklist with some fascinating finds, and a small wine and beer checklist that comes as normal – the large producers aren’t too geared in the direction of meals.

And the dessert appears a bit tacky, a bit of nub of tempura fried ice cream served with fruit that is neither disagreeable nor fascinating – it seems prefer it’s there as a result of Kim thought there needs to be dessert. She’s most likely proper, and I am unsure what I’d have preferred after such an unimaginable meal stuffed with freshness.

After paying our invoice and leaving, Kim reminds us that it is early days for Ashoka. “We’re simply getting began,” he stated. “We’re solely going to get higher and higher.” I will spend cash on getting it proper.

Miso Marinated Fish.

Miso Marinated Fish. Photograph: Justin McManus

Feeling Easy Small Room, Jazz on Audio system

go-to dish nigiri sushi

drink sake, wine, beer, japanese whiskey

value Dinner for 2 over $280 drinks


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