Chris Lucas, Martin Benn and Daniel Wilson to open Japanese-style grill Yakimono in Melbourne CBD

A light-bending filter on the glass windows brings colour to Yakimono.
A light-bending filter on the glass windows brings colour to Yakimono. Photo: Supplied

Daniel Wilson, who closed his much-loved Fitzroy restaurant Huxtable in 2016, will add fire power to Japanese grill Yakimono, the surprise second restaurant from the team behind the hotly anticipated Society.

While Melburnians have been counting down to the opening of Society, restaurateur Chris Lucas and chef Martin Benn have been quietly expanding their stake in 80 Collins. Yakimono is due to open in late 2021 next door to Society, in the development bordered by Collins, Little Collins and Exhibition streets.

While Society promises to be New York-chic, Yakimono will be Tokyo-cool, a buzzy all-day diner over two levels with a charcoal-fired open kitchen as its centrepiece.

Wilson, a former Age Good Food Guide Young Chef of the Year who co-founded the Huxtaburger chain, will be back behind the grill at ​Yakimono, the result of a shared love affair with Japan.

Lucas, who owns restaurants Chin Chin, Hawker Hall, Baby Pizza and Kong, lived for several years in Japan, while English-born Benn drew inspiration from Japanese cuisine for his Sydney restaurant Sepia, which scooped up multiple awards before its closure in late 2018.

The Yakimono menu will bring contemporary verve to Japanese chargrilled and pan-fried dishes. Prices will start at $15.

Chef Daniel Wilson will be behind the grill.
Chef Daniel Wilson will be behind the grill. 

The diner will seat 220 people at a mixture of blond timber tables and bars, with much of the focus on the huge open kitchen.

The mostly monochromatic space gets a jolt of colour from a light-bending filter on the glass windows, and a green-fringed terrace on Exhibition Street will provide outdoor seating.

Yakimono will open at 80 Collins in late 2021,