Kame House

Jackie McMillan
23rd Nov 2023

You can certainly feel the weight of restaurant reviews at Kame House: Gordon locals are flocking in to try the suburb’s newly hatted spot. They are weighing up options from the succinct 6 item menu based upon what Callan Boys ate. I know this because in the tightly packed 30-seater dining room you felt like you were part of every conversation. While Boys sat at the 8-seater chefs counter eating chef Tomoyuki Matsuya’s omakase, I was packed into a corner against an overheated shopfront with 28 degree Celsius afternoon sun beaming onto it from the other side. The chef’s favourite Naotora Namagenshu junmai ginjo sake made by Endo Brewery in Nagano ($36/180ml) eased my pain a bit.

We didn’t come for the hat. It has long been on my list to check out chef Matsuya’s COVID-19 innovative “Next Gen Chirashi” ($145), the dish that prompted the Azabu Group to set him up in this space. It’s basically an omakase for those with an attention-deficit. Rather than traditional chirashi where scattered sashimi offcuts are presented over vinegar rice, this update sees neat rows of squares of high-end fishes, eel, gleaming pearls of orange roe, hand-picked crab, scarlet prawns and lovely tamago. The chequerboard formation sits over a layer of diced raw fish and seasoned, umami-rich rice. While the price is hefty, it is presented with a tiny appetiser, miso soup, pickled vegetables and steamed egg custard (chawanmushi) followed by a pretty verrine of fresh fruit in yuzu jelly as a two-course affair. This means the amount of time you spend at the table is entirely dictated by you. What you miss out on by condensing a sushi omakase in this way is the connection to the chef watching the preparation and helping you understand exactly what you are eating. 

The cheapest dish on the menu, una-tama don ($68), sees a generous fillet of grilled eel (unagi) topped with dashimaki tomago. The dashi omelette is cut by staff at the table - it was a little too set for an unctuous omurice-style reveal - and filled with a sweet and smoky Japanese barbecue sauce. I enjoyed eating it, and, as it arrived with the same sides as the “Next Gen Chirashi” it was certainly a filling meal. I did wonder if it felt close to seventy bucks satisfied. Maybe I should have had what Boys ate after all...