Kobe Jones is an elegant riverside dining experience where time-honoured Japanese cooking techniques are carefully combined with nuanced Western flavours.
The restaurant had its beginnings in Sydney, before finding a home at Docklands in 2005 and moving to Melbourne’s World Trade Centre in 2011. The name is a combination of the ancient Japanese fishing village, Kobe, and a typical Western name, Jones –symbolic of the blending of cultures that occurs within its walls.
Offering spectacular views over the Yarra River and surrounds from every seat in the house, the restaurant’s menu is focused on ‘graze dining’ – food that can be fully appreciated and shared with family and friends.
Using traditional Japanese techniques, the talented kitchen team utilises flavours from all over the world to produce unique fusion cuisine. Influences from Hawaii, Mexico, Creole, California and a range of European countries are among those experimented with, meaning each visit results in a different flavour combination. Head Chef, Ben Rotella, oversees a menu made from fresh, quality ingredients sourced from sustainable food suppliers, which means fresh fish, fruit and vegetables are delivered daily. To maintain authenticity, other products are sourced internationally, including the Wagyu beef, which comes from small-framed black cattle in Hyogo, Japan. This type of Wagyu is renowned for its optimal quality and taste, making it the ideal choice for the kitchen team.
The Wagyu is best showcased in one of Ben’s expertly prepared beef dishes. At lunchtime, sample the protein in a Japanese-style steak sandwich, or in an express teppanyaki set. As the sun sets over the Yarra, sample a more elegant dish – perhaps the Wagyu tataki, which is seared, chilled and served rare with a homemade garlic, ginger and ponzu sauce. You could also order a Wagyu sirloin on the rocks, which allows you to cook the cut to your liking, using a hot rock on the table in front of you.
It’s not just all meat: Kobe Jones also offers an extensive selection of fish, seafood and vegetable dishes. Start with a salad of fresh sashimi and garden greens drizzled with ponzu dressing, or some seasonal vegetable tempura with house-made dipping sauce.
Move onto one of the specialty dishes, such as the mouth-watering green tea salmon – seared, cold-smoked salmon marinated in green tea and served with a watercress salad; or the Antarctic Crab, grilled in its shell on the teppan. The handmade chicken karaage – Japanese fried chicken – with teriyaki sauce is also worth getting your hands dirty.
If you can fit it in, the range of Japanese fusion desserts are a flavoursome and delicious way to end a meal. Try the Chushi for something unique – chocolate sushi filled with vanilla bean rice pudding, strawberry and mango pearls, or the Anko for a Japanese-y treat –a flaming green tea cr.me brulee.
Wash your delicious meal down with a beverage or two from the extensive drinks list – it’s as diverse as the culinary offerings, so think Japanese and Australian beers, cocktails, mocktails, sake, wine, cider and spirits.
At Kobe Jones, Japanese and Western influences unite to create a simple yet elegant menu. Pair the delicious food with the scenic views of the Yarra River for a dining experience you won’t forget in a hurry.