Nama Nama, the stylish Spring Street udon noodle and bento box joint that Simon Denton opened two years ago, will close by mid-August and reopen in a new guise - Kappo - a few weeks later. Denton and his business partners, Miyuki Nakahara and Takashi Omi, who also own Hihou and Izakaya Den, are going into business with chef Kentaro Usami.
Kappo refers to a Japanese style of dining that is not as casual as an izakaya but not as formal as kaiseki, says Denton. It's about sitting at a counter and being served ''beautiful dishes of skill - it's more than just casual dining''.
Chef Usami has been in Australia for 16 years and had a long stint at the Collins Place dining room Kenzan. He is currently cooking at Gekkazan, in the city's GPO building. Usami and Denton have been friends for years, says Denton.
''We were waiting for him to be available to do something with us and he now is,'' Denton adds.
He says dishes will be built ''around vegetables and fish, not just sushi, and other seasonal ingredients''.
Kappo is due to open in September for lunch on Monday to Friday and dinner on Monday to Saturday.