Escape to Tokyo for an afternoon and take yourself on a feasting journey through the multi-faceted Japanese culture at Tetsujin.
Upon first glance, the Emporium restaurant simply looks like an upscale sushi train. You might enter into a vibrant and bright dining area where white marble tables surround an ultra-modern sushi train and patrons place orders via iPads at their tables.
Walk a few more steps, and behold, a completely different world. A dark, sultry dining room fitted with tall tables and loungy booths serves up Japanese BBQ against a backdrop of Japanese pop art plastering the wall. A massive robot hangs from the ceiling. The white tiled kitchen resembling a tuck shop window is the only thing separating these two distinct worlds of Japanese dining.
The contrast between order and chaos is what Tetsujin is all about – embodying both modern minimalism and the underground cultural elements of Japan.
We were invited to experience a long lunch prepared by Masahiko Yomoda, a Michelin Star chef with successful restaurants around the world. “I’ve come to Melbourne to make nice food that is tasty and reasonable, and make people happy,” he says. My tastebuds can declare Masahiko knows a thing or two about Japanese cuisine.
We were escorted through the sushi bar, into the dark dining room of chaos, where I was greeted with a plate of tangy ceviche wrapped in crispy nori taco shells. I didn’t know what the afternoon had in store, but was eager to partake in this mysterious feast showcasing Tetsujin’s new menu items. Roast wagyu beef with onsen egg sauce, sashimi, and teriyaki salmon topped with quinoas soon graced the table.
My top pick of the day was a sweet and spicy 48 hour slow cooked beef short rib slathered in Korean chili BBQ sauce, and basically falling off the bone. To finish the feast, we were served Fuji apple matcha custard topped with raspberry sauce and dry pastry crumbles. As if the creamy and crunchy custard couldn’t get any better, a waiter came around and poured dry ice on my custard, freezing it into a ball of smoking frozen custard ice cream goodness. Divine deliciousness.
I’ve never been to Tokyo, but I imagine Tetsujin embodies both the trendy and grunge hipster sides of Japanese culture, not to mention the top quality, authentic eats. Pay a visit to the CBD eatery, and you might even meet Tetsujin himself.
– Ember Mitchell
Ember is an American turned Aussie. Her love affair with Melbourne goes back five years, and she still can’t get enough of this city! Discovering new hideouts and hidden gems around Melbourne is her hobby. Marketing Strategist by day, spontaneous adventurer, brekky enthusiast, and aerial acrobat by night.
295 Lonsdale St
Melbourne, VIC 3000
Meet Tetsujin, Emporium’s sushi train and Japanese BBQ serving up a side of order and chaos.