Fremantle favourite The Modern Eatery opens up shop in Richmond, bringing ‘Aburi’ style sushi to Swan Street.
It’s no secret that Melbourne loves sushi. You need barely walk a block in the CBD without finding a tiny, cheap and cheerful sushi-to-go store meeting the lunch time rush – typically stocked with Western style sushi rolls that stretch the definition of ‘Japanese inspired’. Or there are high end Japanese restaurants that provide either very expensive, or very traditional, experiences. Until recently, there has existed a gulf between these two extremes; a desire for a venue that can provide the freshness and quality of a boutique dining experience, but in a chilled out, low-pressure atmosphere. Enter The Modern Eatery which bridges this gap at it’s new two-level, 90-seat Richmond restaurant.
Since opening their first Modern Eatery in Western Australia’s Fremantle in 2014, best friends Edward Teh and Jason Tan have seen their passion for ‘Aburi’ sushi and sashimi embraced by locals, and inspired them to bring their unique twist on the reliable dish to Melbourne’s palates.
The pair both come from families where food was a focus – a way of sharing love and coming together. It was this passion that inspired them to walk away from their previous lives as an engineer and an accountant to embark on an adventure that has seen them leave their mark on the East and West coast.
‘Aburi’ sushi, a technique that lightly sears the surface of the fish while leaving the inside raw, provides a deep and complex flavour that makes the most of the beautiful, fresh fish available to both coastal cities – and also makes it an ideal style of sushi to win over friends who bristle at the idea of ‘raw fish’.
The open plan sushi bar gives diners a front row seat to watch their made-to-order aburi sushi being seared to perfection immediately before serving.
While the Aburi sushi is definitely the star of the show, the menu also features a range of other dishes that twist and subvert traditional Japanese cuisine in a fun, delicious, and fast way. With delights to tickle the fancy of any diner, such as oshi sushi – a traditional pressed sushi – as well as a selection of Craft Rolls, including the fabulous ‘Chasing Sunset’ craft roll, served with seared salmon, egg omelette and sweet potato fries, The Modern Eatery ensures every diner will find something delicious and fresh.
The venue itself has a vibrant, urban edge, with a giant neon, Maneki-neko inspired waving cat casting a warming glow across the venue. The interior and ambiance artfully evokes Japanese minimalism, to create a space that is both warm and stylish, homely and exciting. It’s this balance of style and warmth that initially inspired Teh and Tan to open up shop, with a strong desire to create a restaurant with a focus on bringing people together through great, share style food in an elegant, but unpretentious, venue. Most of the dishes at The Modern Eatery are intended for sharing.
With plenty of Japanese and local whiskies, craft beers, and wines on offer, The Modern Eatery is the perfect venue for an indulgent dinner or a quick pre-night out dine and dash.
The Modern Eatery
176 Swan Street, Richmond
Open daily, 11.30am-2.30pm & 5.30pm-10pm