Port Melbourne's Komeyui to become YKB (Yakitori Bar)

Port Melbourne's Komeyui will become Yakitori Bar.
Port Melbourne's Komeyui will become Yakitori Bar. 

Chef Motomu Kumano is switching sushi for skewers, rebranding his well-regarded Port Melbourne restaurant Komeyui as the more-casual Yakitori Bar – or YKB for short.

Slated for late February, the change will mostly affect the menu. Chicken will be the focus – everything from thigh and breast to gizzard and heart will be skewered and grilled. There will also be skewers of wagyu beef, gingko nut and vegetables such as baby capsicum and mushrooms, plus a short list of tapas-style side dishes. The furniture and the atmosphere will be unchanged, he says.

But it's not over for Kumano's original restaurant, which opened in 2011.

Sushi and sashimi will make way for skewers.
Sushi and sashimi will make way for skewers. Photo: Eddie Jim

Komeyui is set to reopen in early March at 181 Ferrars Street, South Melbourne. The new 80-seat space, by architects Baenziger Coles, takes cues from traditional Japanese design but with a modern bent – think shades of black and grey and lots of blond timber. A new charcoal grill will take pride of place in the kitchen.

The menu will continue to offer grilled, fried and steamed dishes, plus two omakase sushi options at the bar. Eventually, the goal is to incorporate a production kitchen and export products made from Australian seafood.

From late February, Yakitori Bar (YKB) will open daily 5pm-late at 396 Bay Street, Port Melbourne.

From early March, Komeyui will open daily noon-3pm, 5.30pm-late at 181 Ferrars Street, South Melbourne, komeyui.com.au