South-siders have been lucky to have Mr Miyagi on Chapel Street for the last nine years, while everyone else has needed to cross the river for a taste of the signature salmon nori taco, Japanese-Italo ramen gnocchi and the pink Hello Kitty Sour.
But now you can get a taste of the playful Windsor diner in the CBD – it’s moved into QT Melbourne’s tucked-away events space Hot Sauce Laneway for six weeks, bringing a fire-powered pop-up with a menu by executive chef Kyle Doody that’s completely new.
That (unfortunately) means the salmon nori taco isn’t making the trip into the city, but Doody and the team have designed new dishes that draw on the same playfulness and Japanese inspiration as the original.
“As a restaurant we are always trying new things. We pride ourselves on our creativity when we do offsite events and when we do different items, the response is always overwhelmingly positive,” Mr Miyagi founder Kristian Klein tells Broadsheet. “I think the loyalists know that whatever comes out of our kitchens will always be exciting.”
There’s a strong emphasis on the charcoal grill and wood smoke throughout the menu, as seen in the smoked salmon (cured in a delicately balanced mix of sugar and salt) served tableside from a glass cloche billowing with smoke; the soft-shell nori tortilla with rockling, charred shishito peppers and shiso salt; and the smoked Scotch fillet with a sticky, smoky soy glaze.
“Experimenting with different woods to get the perfect flavour has been enjoyable, and including smoke with dessert was a challenge but I think it works incredibly well,” Klein says.
To drink, there’s the Salaryman Special of Haku vodka, aloe vera grape juice, charred grapes and Ramune Japanese lemonade; a Tokyo Riff with Midori, Triple Sec, Chartreuse and green tea cordial; the Espresso Shinkansen, with Haku vodka, Kahlua, cold drip coffee and houjicha syrup; and a savoury cocktail with Toku gin, Junmai sake, wakame bitters and orange bitters called Lost in Translation.
Hot Sauce Laneway is tucked down Portland Lane right by QT Melbourne, but the space has been transformed. The team has brought in some luxe furniture, larger tables for a communal, shared vibe, and splashes of colour to bring the Mr Miyagi experience into the city centre.
And the smell? A fragrant tease of what’s coming out of the kitchen. “The aromas of smoke from the kitchen will give the space a warm and wintery feel whilst sitting on the edge of a laneway. Very Melbourne,” Klein says.
With the limited time and limited space, bookings for the pop-up are essential.
|Broadsheet Access members will experience Mr Miyagi's pop-up before it opens to the public. Want to come to our next Editors' Preview night? Find out more.|
Mr Miyagi in the Big Smoke opens on Thursday June 30. It’ll trade for dinner from Thursday to Saturday for six weeks.
Mr Miyagi in the Big Smoke
8 Portland Lane, Melbourne
Thu to Sat 5pm–late