Many Melburnians will know 430 Little Collins Street as the iconic Bistro Vue, Shannon Bennett’s mainstay for dependable French bistro fare. Eleven years and a elegant renovation by local studio Projects of Imagination later, the venue has reemerged as Iki-Jime, a modern eatery celebrating sustainable Australian seafood.
The dark and moody design by Projects of Imagination immediately asserts Iki-Jime as a very different beast to its predecessor. Charcoal walls, dark timber floors and zinc light fittings introduce a modern, moody sensibility to the space, while black curtains and taupe banquettes bring a subtle texture amongst the masculine foundations of the interior.
Touted as Melbourne CBD’s only “dedicated seafood restaurant” the menu certainly delivers on its seafood-centric promise. Bringing together Vue de Monde and Bistro Vue alumni such as Justin James, Vue Group’s Executive Chef, and Iki-Jime Head Chef Sam Homan, the menu embraces native ingredients, seasonality and locality, with dishes designed to be shared.
Given the restaurant is named in homage to the Japanese tradition of Iki-Jime; the humane killing of fish, the seafood on offer at Iki-Jime is suitably celebratory yet unexpected in its presentation. Standout dishes include the melt-in-your-mouth Yabby Tart, where buttery pastry is perfectly offset by the fresh, delicate taste of the local yabby, and the Smoked Rainbow Trout, presented with a veritable buffet of traditional and surprising condiments for accompaniment.
Of course seafood pairs beautifully with the right wine, and with that Iki-Jime have got you covered with a carefully-assembled wine list. The wine list is long enough to be intimidating – but cleverly the team have designed a selection of Wine Pairings (depending on how many matched wines you’re after) to secure the best matches for each dish. Let us tell you – this is well worth a try; we found so many new flavours that were unrealised before the right drop brought them out. Should you be after some more relaxed fare, Bar Jime offers playful late night snacks (BBQ spiced prawn crisps and buffalo fish wings caught our eye) and an extensive cocktail selection.
We’re fortunate to enjoy some of the world’s best seafood here in Australia, and Iki-Jime certainly does it justice. From a fit-out that lets the dishes truly take centre stage to a menu that is inventive and generous, it’s a refreshing update for 430 Little Collins Street.
Find out more or book your table at Iki-Jime here.
“We’ve created a menu based on Australia’s best seafood. Only what is in season. Treating each seafood with simplicity and respect. Classic seafood dishes have inspired us on some items as well, where we may add a creative twist to it. Native ingredients, seasonality and locally-sourced produce will drive the components paired with each dish. The menu is designed for sharing; allowing our guests to interact and embrace the true meaning of dining – to have fun.”
– Justin James, Executive Chef – Vue Group