On the night we turned up on time for 8:15pm booking after a couple of heady cocktails imbibed en route and to our delight we took up our seats at the sushi bar.
As expected, it's far from the zen atmosphere of more traditional Japanese restaurants and it's this upbeat electric mood that makes Kisume approachable and popular for the mainstream. Although I love Minamishima, I also understand it doesn't appeal to everyone and some may even find the omokase style daunting. Here it's fun to try and voices can be loud and questions asked.
I overhear one of the sushi chef discuss salmon with one of the wait staff and he says it's white fish which I have never heard before so I take the opportunity to ask him. He explains indeed salmon is white fish, tuna is blue fish and there's also silver fish such as mackerel and sardine. It was great to learn and chat and he shared that he has only recently re-located to Melbourne for the opening of Kisume from Sydney. I love a story behind my food.
There's the sushi bar menu featuring a huge choice of sushi and sashimi as well as an omakase option. I've seen so many pictures of the deluxe feature box that I feel I really need to satisfy my tastebud curiosity. Our waitress advises that it's sufficient enough for two as a main course and perhaps order a couple of other dishes.
Order just a few? When there's such a vast menu to choose from and I haven't yet mentioned the main menu where there are lots of other delicious sounding items like grilled mackerel, udon noodles, saikyo miso salmon.
It's a delicious box of delights. The thinly sliced raw prawn with caviar is probably my least favourite but that's not to say it's bad.
- Tuna tataki - seared bluefin tuna, wasabi tofu, chilli yuzu ponzu
- Tempura kakiage - whiting, prawn, mushroom, asparagus, eggplant and corn
Our waitress helps us make the choices. She recommends the tuna and says the tempura is a goer if we have big appetites. The tuna is actually forgotten but when we flag it to her it comes out pretty quick. I'm not actually a huge fan of the tuna. I like the big cubes of fish but the wasabi tofu I find bland except for the strong wasabi flavour which I'm not a huge fan of anyway.
The tempura tower looks impressive and the different salts are a nice touch. It's not as crispy as I'd hoped and it is a little bit greasy. I think next time I'd choose two other accompanying dishes and there are plenty to choose from.
I don't really feel like asking our waitress about more savoury dishes though. But I will bear in mind for next time, that I can do more! Our waitress is pretty busy. In fact all the waitstaff seem a bit frantic. They don't come across stressed and they are all helpful and friendly but busy. As we decide to drink cocktails and beers, there are a couple of times it's the friendly sushi chef who either flags waitstaff down to bring us the drinks menu or goes and gets one for us himself! I guess it is peak time on a Saturday night though...
So I'm a bit embarrassed to order more savoury dishes, and to be honest, I am being greedy really as it's not like I'm hungry. I just feel I could eat a bit more! Ha!
So we decide to go with dessert and to share:
Desserts are small. So in hindsight, we should have ordered two. Especially as we also liked the sound of a couple of them. Anyway the black sesame sponge is a cute looking hedgehog of a dessert with fragrant black sesame praline shards, a delicious creamy foam and dense but light sponge.
I'm really looking forward to trying more dishes at Kisume perhaps at a less busy time though as service, although far from bad, was spread a little thin. Except for the wonderfully helpful and charming sushi chef.