Yokocho opened its doors for the first time in late November, bringing to the Melbourne CBD a modern and eclectic experience of Japanese cuisine. Located in the historic Mid City Arcade on Bourke Street, the vibrant street culture of Tokyo has been reimagined through Yokocho’s minimalistic fit out and lively ambience. Literally translating to “alley-way”, this contemporary hotspot will mimic the laneways made famous by salary men in Tokyo who frequent small, ‘hole-in-the-wall’ type establishments.
Co-owners Benny Lui, Khoa Le and 24 hour ramen diner Shujinko’s Kevin Pak want Yokocho to be a place to escape and break away from the hustle and bustle of the city, while simultaneously certifying it as the newest destination for devotees of modern Japanese food and drink. Yokocho showcases three main styles of Japanese cuisine: sushi and sashimi, yakitori and tempura. To complement the three categories will be a curated list of sake, spirits, wine, beer and cocktails. Express bento and a variety of share plates also feature on the menu.
“We chose this venue as it brings back a lot of memories in Mid City Arcade, where in my younger years used to watch Asian movies and hangout at the old Red Silks balcony. As you peer down the walkway of Mid City, it does give you that illusion that you are in a Tokyo alley,” said co-owner, Benny Lui. “I believe that Melbourne sorely needed a place like this. A place to relax, unwind that allows you to escape the daily grind.”
The venue’s urban and intriguing interior is designed by Wendy Bergman who has projected a splash of Japanese escapism into this fun new location. The venue seats 80 to 90 patrons including the massive outdoor terrace overlooking Bourke Street, perfect for those balmy Melbourne nights to come over the summer months. Lunch and dinner is served from 11:30am till late.
Nestled in the walkway of Mid City Arcade, Yokocho pays homage to memory and tradition while still exploring the exciting future of Japanese dining.
101, 200 Bourke Street, Melbourne 3000 | (03) 9663 7790 | www.yokocho.com.au
Monday – Thursday 11:30am – 10:00pm
Friday – Saturday 11:30am – Late
Sunday 11:30 – 10:00pm
Image Credit: Eugene Hyland