Komeyui

396 Bay Street, Port Melbourne, Victoria

All Details
Komeyui's heart is rice.
It's fun to sit at the bar and try a variety of dishes. Photo: Eddie Jim

Dani Valent

Just about every shopping strip has a Japanese restaurant but few are as welcoming, versatile and delectable as Komeyui. Chef Motomu Kumano opened his small, amiable restaurant nearly three years ago, after six years at Kenzan followed his move to Melbourne in 2005. The heart of Komeyui is rice, cooked in a special cast-iron pot (hagama) that's been superseded by electric rice cookers in most Japanese kitchens.

The old-time technique is trickier than pressing a button but Kumano believes it brings out the true nature of each grain of rice and that the iron vessel conducts health benefits too. I'm no rice-soul-spotter but I can say that this rice is distinct, nutty and lively.

The menu is diverse, with grilled, fried, steamed and hot pot dishes, both traditional and gently tweaked. Sushi and sashimi come a la carte but it's fun to sit at the bar and let Kumano line up dishes until you beg for mercy. He's a big fan of Australian seafood and loves to showcase it with handy knifework, a little seasoning, and maybe a brief blast with the blowtorch. Hot dishes can be nostalgic, as with his grandmother's sticky, starchy pumpkin mochi cakes with the texture of glutinous rice and a dressing of sake and soy. Foil-wrapped salmon bundled with miso butter has a similar comforting sense of old Hokkaido. Pride is obvious in every dish: rich, silky agedashi tofu comes with a bonito flake flash-mob and the onigiri (filled rice balls) form cute, precise triangles.

Pumpkin mochi cakes with sake and soy dressing.
Pumpkin mochi cakes with sake and soy dressing. Photo: Eddie Jim

There's a contemporary edge to other offerings. Surf clams with rice vinegar foam have the oceanic intensity of a dumping wave without the bathers-twisting negatives. Fried duck breast is marinated in a red wine and soy dressing, which I bet grandmother never tried.

Komeyui's welcome extends to vegetarians (ask for the separate menu), kids (there are high chairs and plentiful indulgent smiles), takeaway lunchers and sake lovers (drink matches punctuate the menu). ''Kome'' means ''rice'' and ''yui'' means ''knot'', as in unity and togetherness, and Motomu Kumano and his team ensure both rice and warm gatherings are easy to enjoy at Komeyui.

Rating: Four stars (out of five).

Rate this restaurant

Rate this restaurant:

Use [left] and [right] keys to rate, [enter] to submit, [esc] to cancel.

Rate this restaurant with 0.5 a star Rate this restaurant with 1 star Rate this restaurant with 1.5 stars Rate this restaurant with 2 stars Rate this restaurant with 2.5 stars Rate this restaurant with 3 stars Rate this restaurant with 3.5 stars Rate this restaurant with 4 stars Rate this restaurant with 4.5 stars Rate this restaurant with 5 stars

Write a review

Thanks for voting!

Write a review

396 Bay Street, Port Melbourne, Victoria

  • Cuisine - Japanese
  • Prices - Cold: $5.50-$50; hot: $5.50-$55; dessert: $15-$17.50
  • Features - Licensed, Vegetarian friendly, Family friendly
  • Chef(s) - Motomu Kumano
  • Owners - Motomu Kumano
  • Opening Hours - Tuesday-Saturday noon-3pm, 6pm-10pm
  • Author - Dani Valent
Close map

Similar Restaurants

1 comment so far

  • One of our favourite dining experiences in the area. If you don't have to go to work the next day, ask for the sake served in the box!

    Commenter
    David
    Location
    Middle Park
    Date and time
    April 21, 2014, 7:40PM

Make a comment

You are logged in as [Logout]

All information entered below may be published.

Error: Please enter your screen name.

Error: Your Screen Name must be less than 255 characters.

Error: Your Location must be less than 255 characters.

Error: Please enter your comment.

Error: Your Message must be less than 300 words.

Post to

You need to have read and accepted the Conditions of Use.

Thank you

Your comment has been submitted for approval.

Comments are moderated and are generally published if they are on-topic and not abusive.

Most viewed restaurants in Sydney

View all

You can also view recent reviews for:

Most viewed restaurants in Melbourne

View all

You can also view recent reviews for:

Most viewed restaurants in Brisbane

View all

You can also view recent reviews for:

Most viewed restaurants in Canberra

View all

You can also view recent reviews for:

Promotions

A capital restaurant capitalising on the unique character and flavours of the Canberra region.