Slog your way to South Wharf for this Japanese den of deliciousness
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Iconic Melbourne restauranteur Paul Mathis has opened so many venues this year soon we’ll have to start counting them on our toes. One of these is Japanese izakaya Akachochin. Not the easiest name to pronounce but that doesn’t seem to have stopped the punters finding it – housed in a renovated cargo shed in blossoming South Warf. You’ll pick it from the red lanterns that hang outside. Inside it’s all long marble sushi bar, cool yellow tiled walls and tiny glazed rectangular plates.
The deal is Japanese pub food. At the helm is Kengo Hiromatsu (ex-Nobu) with a menu sectioned for you to divide and conquer - sushi, sashimi, grilled things, fried things, steamed things - all in moderate serving sizes with moderate price tags. The fish is fresh and expertly sliced. Previously passé menu items get the fun treatment - think potato cake stuffed with quail meat and deep fried, or a delicately sweet, sweet potato brulee. Then there’s the 50 strong list of sake, plum wine and shochu (Japanese hard-liquor, usually made with barley, rice or potato) - we bet you’d have liver failure before working the whole way through that one.