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“Intriguing Japanese Omakase-style dining - thank you Chef.”
Review of Kappo

Ranked #647 of 4,562 Restaurants in Melbourne
Cuisines: Japanese
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Restaurant details
Neighbourhood: Central Business District
Description: There are three chefs' selections (omakase) and people can choose to have 5, 7 or 9 courses. Rather than a menu diners are given a list of seasonal ingredients and the chef presents the dishes, people can choose not to have any items on the list which is great for dietary requirements. "Kappo is the expression of the seasons, an example of traditional Japanese food with a modern touch".
Reviewed 17 November 2015

Yes, I had to look Omakase up before booking dinner at Kappo recently. I was so intrigued with putting my dining completely in the hands of the Chef that day and not knowing what will come next. Of course, I had the chance to decline and ingredient, but unless you have allergies, why would you? Put your faith in the skill of the chef and you will never be disappointed.

Upon finally finding the front door (how awkward) down the side lane, I was greeted with warmth and seated at the downstairs dining bar area to await my experience. It was a perfect time to arrive (at the start of the night) as I felt like I had more of a chance to chat to the wait staff and check out the restaurant.

I was shown the my pre-selected "Odoroki" (Chef's surprise) menu for the night (nine courses), ordered a rose sake from a pretty diverse drinks menu and settled in for the evening. My waiter for the evening was attentive, polite and very focused on ensuring my dining experience was well explained, not rushed and personal. The atmosphere was muted and retrained but it added a sense of surging anticipation of what was to come.

The chef was efficient and precise with his cooking, plating and presentation and it was fun to watch him adapt his style with all the different orders right in front of me. However there was very little interaction with the chef apart from a smile and a nod.

I was offered the choice of selecting my own chopsticks before being presented with my first dish which was a beautiful selection of oyster and caviar, seasonal vegetables and walnut miso, octopus with crisp tofu skin and soy milk sauce and Sansho pepper quail. It was an outstanding start.

Highlights across the meal were the interactive-style "ocean tartare" (salmon, lobster, salmon roe, scallop) where you mix your own dish from the provided ingredients; and the sushi selection of the day - King George whiting, tuna belly ‘toro’ black garlic and seared swordfish. The choice of warm red rice as the base of the sushi was a perfect demonstration of Kappo's deliberate difference between serving standard and serving exceptional, and the sushi was exceptional.

Kappo is not a cheap dining experience at all and if you are adventurous, you will be left wanting if you do not choose to experience the whole menu (nine courses), at $150 a head, be prepared to melt your card with drinks. This is also not a fast dining experience by any means, in fact it was almost three hours of dining by the time I finished and it still didn't feel long at all.

My Omakase dining experience was well worth the wait and after walking out, the first thought was when I could possibly come back to see what the Chef's Surprise would be next time!

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Thank FoodieMookie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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37 - 41 of 49 reviews

Reviewed 7 October 2015

Don't bother dining here. Melbourne has much better to offer.
Overall nothing like excellent Japanese food.
The trip to Japan is equal to three dinners here. Over priced for the offering I received.
Very hit and miss.
The staff lacked enthusiasm and were just going through the motions.
Yet , the place was pretty busy so why bother improving. Maybe the patrons like the exclusivity of having to ring a door bell to gain entry.

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Thank Stephen C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 September 2015 via mobile

Great find at the eastern end of the CBD.
We had a small private booth for the evening. The 7 course chefs menu was interesting, we don't have that much experienced with Japanese food. A couple of the courses were not to our liking but overall it was a good experience.

Thank Steve_CB01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 June 2015

Indeed, it is hard to find the entrance to Kappo. What seems to be the main door is actually locked. You have to walk around and up the alley and then ring a door bell. After sitting down you are offered hot towels and drinks, followed by the opportunity to choose your own chop sticks.

I highly encourage you to get there just when they open and during week days. You will have the restaurant for yourself and truly enjoy this delicious dining experience. As noted by others, the meal is omakase-style, i.e., a 5, 7, or 9 course menu prepared by the chef. Each dish was superb and the food was truly delicious. The highlights for me were definitely the tofu soup, the salad, sashimi platter, as well as the dessert bites at the end.

Service is very attentive. Invisible, but there when yo need it. Overall a perfect dining experience!

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Thank GourmandTrashPanda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 May 2015

Having read many reviews of Kappo, it is clear that for some reason, we were unfortunate.
We arrived in pouring rain. There is no guidance in Spring St a to how one enters; in fact it is 20m down Flinders Lane where one presses a button on a wall. No signage! No doubt it is e xciting, even romantic, when one is not being drowned.
We have read of diners eating at high backed seats at the bar. Sounds terrific! We , in a group of 8, were at a table which had stools with no backs at all! It becomes rather tiring after a couple of hours, and when one can only read a menu, or the excellent wine and saki list, by the use of the spotlight on one's mobile phone! We might have been older than most--there were very few diners--but I simply don't understand how such darkness is anything but irritating.

The food was variable. Many of the early dishes were, as others have commented, interesting morsels, largely seafood, thoroughly enjoyable.
But the final course before the excellent desert was extremely disappointing. Rainbow trout ( which must be, of necessity, farmed) was simply cooked with tasty greens,but oozing in fat because of the diet on which it has been reared. To a diner who has tasted wild trout, this was hard to stomach. And it was followed by a bowl of rice which was simply stodgy, bland and uninteresting. All of our group ate a few mouthfuls before giving up!
Service was first rate. One felt that one might be on the edge of a great culinary experience. Not on this occasion! And if one has starved oneself in preparation for the night , one will end up hungry.

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Thank Ian D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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