Kisume is beautiful, buzzy, busy - "a well-serviced piece of Melbourne's Japanese landscape", says Gemima Cody in Good Food. Its ideas are "as fresh as they are clever, never gimmicky," writes John Lethlean in The Australian.
Kisume stretches over three levels, as Broadsheet explains: "Up top, it's private, kaiseki-style dining at Kuro Kisumé, a restaurant within a restaurant. Adjacent, a waiting room-slash-bar simply called "The Chablis Bar", offering 80 steely chardonnays that pair well with raw seafood … at street level there's a vast, New York-style sushi bar with an intimate view of chefs carefully slicing bluefin tuna, salmon, prawns and sea bream … the windowless basement is the most bustling part of the restaurant. It holds a hot kitchen, a large semi-private nook and tables packed more densely than anywhere else." Cold food includes three types of oysters, sashimi, Wagyu tartare, sushi rolls and sashimi; in the hot section, there are dumplings, grilled kingfish and soy-glazed Berkshire pork ribs "that'll have your table trading greasy, satisfied smiles").
The ideas at Kisume "are as fresh as they are clever, never gimmicky," writes John Lethlean in The Australian. He describes "this thing" the chef does with raw whiting rapid-cured in kombu: "turns it into sushi with a cloak of golden bottarga … grates a garnishing 'dust' from dried, smoked bonito as hard as mahogany … sprinkles it over seared bonito with fermented garlic … puts raw prawn, toro (belly tuna) and uni together … and the result is, honestly, moving."