I’ve been self isolating ever since I bought a Nintendo Switch in 2018. I go out so little and stay in touch so sporadically that my 3 best friends in the world right now are:
- The Girlfriend
- The fake pot plant I bought from K-Mart
- Captain America Shield cushion
So as my Switch stands on the charging dock, I thought I’d dust off my laptop and write about an experience from when life seemed so much simpler. You know I’m taking self isolation seriously when the most recent restaurant visit I can write about is from late January.
I am referring to the ultimate Melbourne omakase experience: Kisume.
Full disclosure: I did not originally plan on going to Kisume when I was last in Melbourne. I had already had 3 prior omakase experiences in January (really went to town during my birthday month) and needed a bit of a break from sushi.
However, we had quite a bit of time to kill between checking out of our accommodation and heading to the airport so a meal that took up a bit of time seemed like a good idea.
Spoilers: It was a GREAT idea. Even if the omakase did fly by in roughly 45 minutes.
First course by my main man Phillip:
As strong a start as the heist sequence from The Dark Knight and just as impactful. Straight away, the scene is set with the citrus notes from the ponzu highlighting the fresh flavours in the tiny bowl.
I referenced the Joker but this course is far from a joke.
Abalone is hard to cook right, man. It’s very easy to heat it up and turn it into a chewy, flavourless, waste of ingredients but to make it tender and flavourful takes craft, skill and a knack with the tools that I severely lack (other things I severely lack: the ability to write blog posts in a timely manner, texting people that care about me back, actually getting through my Netflix watch list).
Thank God the chefs at Kisume can do what I can’t. How nice would it be if I could just show this plate of abalone the next time someone asks me to show them my abs (it happens more than you think).
The ginger puree was insane, I felt like I was punched in the mouth by the Wendy’s logo considering how strong the ginger hit was. Followed up by the ginger jab was a swift kick from the wasabi to remind me that this is not a regular season game.
Did I mention that I’m a masochist so all of these flavour hits had me rocking the biggest flavour boner in the world? Is that too much information?
This piece tasted like home as I throw chilli and garlic in pretty much everything I make (this includes toast, cereal and fruit salads). The classic combination elevated Hapuka to the penthouse suite of my mouth.
The first piece of tuna was a continuation of the insanely high standard that Chef Phillip has set up. This is like a greatest hits album being someone’s debut album, is Chef Phillip secretly Nas?
The tuna was so tender and the nori puree was like an Einstein heart attack: stroke of genius.
Salmon’s not something you’d typically see at a traditional omakase menu.
But I care about tradition as much as Kanye West cares about being politically correct; this was delicious and that’s all I care about. The salsa was so good I asked it to be my dance partner at the next Spanish-themed night at my favourite club (my favourite club is a club sandwich to be honest).
Ok Phillip, you need to chill. How are you doing this? Which house were you in when you attended Hogwarts?
The textures are absolutely insane, man. And I’m not referring to my mink coat.
I asked Phillip to just throw stuff into my mouth at this point. He half considered it but refused after realising the entire meal would’ve been over in 23 minutes instead of 45.
New Zealand and Tasmania coming together, it’s like Australia’s two forgotten states coming together to release a mixtape to prove their worth to everyone else.
And believe you me, it was the hottest mixtape of 2020. One of my favourite pieces and I don’t even like sea urchin!
Oh Phillip, you were on such a good run and then you put sardines in front of me.
I’m guessing people who like the vile flavour of sardines would’ve loved this. This was hard to swallow like the NBA season being postponed indefinitely.
There are few things more exciting than when your omakase chef busts out the blowtorch. I started exchanging excited looks with everyone in the room including a lady who had already started inching away from me when I announced my flavour boner to the world.
The blowtorch turned the kingfish into a fatty piece of heaven that made sweet, sweet love to my tastebuds. Mind and palate blown.
My initial reaction: Is that caviar blue? Is this caviar from the land of the Smurfs?
My reaction after eating the piece: Yo, when’s the next train to Smurf land and are they open to me staying indefinitely?
Roe roe roe your boat, gently down the stream.
If this gets put in front of you, life becomes a dream.
Seriously, a full sized version of this dish would be something I’d happy eat every day for the rest of my life.
The half searing technique turned this piece of fatty tuna into tuna butter. As weird as that sounds, it would be a privilege to be able to spread that on my toast, crumpet, bagel, croissant, my torso.
You know the drill.
Last but far from least; some wagyu beef top cap everything off.
This piece was over the top but in the most delectable way. Flavour on top of flavour; it was like everything good in life came together to have a party and I was just happy to be a part of it.
Here’s the TL;DR for everyone who thought I would propose to Chef Phillip at around the 5th course:
- I will go out of my way to try and schedule a visit to omakase every time I go back to Melbourne. Book it.
Kisume, Melbourne CBD
175 Flinders Lane
Closed: Monday & Sunday
Tuesday – Saturday: 12 – 230 (Lunch), 5-10 (Dinner)