One of Australia’s favourite travel destinations has reopened, and to celebrate we’re about to get a slice of one of Japan’s most revered sushi restaurants, Sushi Kimura. Chef Kimura – who has been dubbed the master of aged sushi – is set to bring his omakase experience to Sydney and Byron Bay, with special events planned at Sushi E and Raes on Wategos.
Chef Kimura is best known for mastering jukusei-sushi (a style of sushi focused on aging fish), developing his technique after being born into a third-generation sushi restaurant family. Opening his eponymous restaurant in Futago-Tamagawa – a lesser populated part of Tokyo – Kimura first discovered the aging technique by accident. When he first opened, customers weren’t coming into his restaurant as frequently as he anticipated. This resulted in fish going to waste, eventually leading Kimura to try a piece of leftover, aging striped jack fish. This experiment led him to discover the potential for aging fish, accessing a more deeply flavoured savoury piece of fish.
Similar to aging meat, Kimura went on to experiment with aging different types of fish for six years before he began to confidently master and serve jukusei-sushi. These days, it’s almost impossible to get a booking at his lauded Tokyo restaurant, which has maintained its two Michelin stars for the past five years.
Kimura’s rare appearance in Australia marks the reopening of Japan’s borders to international travellers. The omakase experience also rides the wave of Australia’s infatuation with the intimate dining experience, which has slowly come to be one of the most in-demand dining experiences in Australia.
The experience promises to whet the appetite of both sushi aficionados and those wanting to travel to Japan alike. In October, Japan reintroduced its visa exemption scheme for short-stay tourism and business travel, which means Australians no longer need a visa to enter the country and tourists can once again visit Japan and explore the dynamic and vibrant country with ease.
The event also readies Australia for what’s set to be a big trend in 2023: chefs without borders. After three years of limited travel and closed borders, we can expect to see a number of intrepid chefs ready to make the long-haul flight downunder to show off their skills – and ideas – to Australia.