Guidebook The beauty of Minamishima

Best eating in town

The beauty of Minamishima

"Minamishima is a beautifully realised restaurant," writes Michael Harden in Gourmet Traveller. You will be served "arguably the freshest and most skilfully prepared fish you can find in this city," says Dan Stock on, "but you will pay very handsomely for the privilege." Minamishima, says Harden, is a "temple of sushi in the backstreets of Richmond."

I could eat at gentle, elegant, respectful Minamishima, says John Lethlean in The Australian, "once a month for the rest of my life." Dining here feels like an event, "whether you're propped up at the sushi bar on your own or ensconced in the private room with seven of your besties," writes Michael Harden in Gourmet Traveller. The best option is to eat at the sushi bar, where the 18-course omakase menu offer the chance to "sit ringside watching the chefs" perform their "breath-taking display of knife skills, the mesmerising glisten of brilliant seafood, the precise handcrafted placement and presentation are all the more impressive for the complete lack of flash and dazzle," says Harden.

Here's what you get for the $150-a-head 15 course chef's selection, says Dan Stock on ... New Zealand scampi, brushed with a sweetish soy glaze ("at once bracing and refreshing, creamy and pure"), soy-cured yellowfin ("the oily flesh and salty sauce combining in sublime harmony"), the palest of pink marbled flesh of the belly of the o-toro fish ("a moment of pure bliss, the lingering creaminess unlike anything that's gone before").

The sushi counter is "the original voyeuristic dining experience," proclaims John Lethlean in The Australian: "Fifteen artful, clever but traditional examples of the master's voice that may have reached its zenith with a whole, creamy, raw-but-dressed New Zealand scampi. Or possibly the amazingly scored raw calamari with lime, subtle chilli and grey salt, from Okinawa. Or maybe the lightly toasted, gelatinous flesh of a flounder's 'wing', near the fin."

To dine here is to immerse yourself in a gastronomic temple, where chef Koichi Minamishima creates "an oasis of tranquillity, tradition and focus, and of simplicity, humility and respect," according to Anthony Huckstep in Delicious. Huckstep describes the black floor tiles, American oak and a textured grey wall that provide "a basic back palate for his colourful culinary brushstrokes … from the very moment you're swept from the surreptitious street entrance through a glass door, something quite spiritual overwhelms the senses." And he notes the restaurant's "stunning list of sakes and wines that help frame the dishes."

Best eating in town
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