Among the many things that the Japanese do oh so remarkably well, it’s nailing simple on a plate. Quality produce combined with the raw and pure magic of tried and tested flavour/ingredient pairings yields maximum thrills for the taste buds; and this was very much the case at the recently-opened, Japanese inspired Ima Project Cafe.
After spying Hibichi grilled miso glazed ocean trout on the menu for the Japanese breakfast set, I was instantly sold. And then I was sold again and again with each bite that I took. The flavours were sensationally fragrant thanks to the smoky aroma imparted from the grilling combined with the natural sweetness of the silky trout, and the sweet and umami profile of the miso glaze. And then came the ooziness from the yolk of the perfectly prepped onsen egg… heaven in a bite. Rounding out the breakfast set nicely was a bowl of miso soup, cooked and pickled veggies.
And it just wouldn’t be a Melbourne cafe without avocado toast on the menu… although very much Japanese inspired with the addition of nori paste and furikake seasoning.
Japanese lunch set - dish of the day (Japanese beef curry) with rice, miso soup, pickles + onsen egg.
Avocado toast - with nori paste, crispy kale, furikake + onsen egg.
Japanese breakfast - market fish with rice, miso soup, pickles + onsen egg.
Ima Project Cafe
169 Elgin St,
Carlton, Victoria, 3053.
+61 3 9348 1118