Iki Jime is the sleek, sexy and thoroughly modern seafood-centric reincarnation of Bistro Vue. Melbourne’s only dedicated seafood restaurant, the menu embraces the best of Australia’s seafood and utilises native ingredients with a focus on seasonality.
The restaurant is named after a Japanese technique for the humane killing of fish to maintain the quality of its meat. This practice was pioneered in Australia by Mark Eather, a fisherman that supplies Iki Jime’s gloriously fresh seafood.
We decided to leave our dining experience in the capable hands of the kitchen and sommelier by indulging in the tasting menu with matching wines. This was a decision we did not regret. All dishes were elegant, presented with great care and tasted wonderful. The wine pairings were similarly well devised with a predominantly old world focus.
To start we loved the cheekily named "Fish and chips" which featured raw tuna adorned with a light dusting of pickle powder, wrapped around thinly sliced sticks of fried potato and leek.
The handpicked spanner crab salad was another stunning appetiser which featured beautiful morsels of creamy crab and which allowed the crab’s subtle sweetness to take centre stage.
Next from the kitchen flowed Moreton Bay bug tarts. Delicate shortcrust pastry shells framed ever so lightly grilled Moreton Bay bugs laid over a creamy bed of butter, miso and kelp dashi.
The dish of paper thin slices of warm octopus was similarly delicious - the octopus had been carefully braised in red wine and winter spices.
We also loved Iki Jime’s take on the "prawn cocktail" – A much more enticing version than its ancestor, the prawns were presented asymmetrically to one side of a dark plate and coated with heady wasabi vinaigrette, tomato and prawn powder, then topped with cured duck egg yolk, lemon rind, finger lime and chives. The result was simply beautiful and a thoroughly modern reinterpretation of the original.
For mains the wood grilled Broadbill Swordfish beggared belief, in large part due to the outstanding quality and freshness of the swordfish steak. This was restraint and elegance at its best, the natural sweetness of the fish was allowed to shine through. The accompanying clam and lemon myrtle sauce, elevated this dish to new heights.
Despite the seafood focus, desserts echo the same principles of precision and attention to detail. Iki Jime’s take on the apple crumble was beautiful, featuring a stunning cooked whole apple served with lemon verbena custard and sour apple sorbet. If you love your soufflés, they’ve got one that is textbook perfect – fluffy, airy and with great height, it swallowed the scoop of luscious hazelnut ice cream dollopped on top by our waiter tableside.
Offering Melbourne a sophisticated dining experience in the way that only the Vue Group knows how, Iki Jime delivers a Modern Australian take on a dedicated seafood restaurant using French and Japanese influences to create something truly memorable.
Location: 430 Little Collins St, Melbourne
Phone: 03 9691 3838