This two-Michelin-star chef is coming Down Under


Chef Kimura is in pursuit of one-and-only dishes and is bringing them to Australia.
Chef Kimura is in the pursuit of one-and-only dishes. Now, he’s bringing them to Australia | Image source: Supplied

Tokyo chef Koji Kimura is a third-generation sushi chef, often referred to as ‘The Father of Aged Sushi’. But you’d be hard-pressed to taste his creations, given his two-Michelin-star Tokyo restaurant is constantly booked out.

“My grandfather was a sushi chef, my dad was sushi chef,” he says. “From a young age, I remember sitting in the corner of my dad’s sushi restaurant and seeing how much fun being a sushi chef was. The interaction with the customers, seeing the joy on their faces.”

He opened his first restaurant in Tokyo in 2005 – but today it’s virtually impossible to jag a seat thanks to Kimura’s niche specialty: aged sushi. It sounds impossible, but new fridge technology can kill bacteria and age fish in a controlled environment. But the practice took Kimura six years to master.

“It’s incredibly difficult to achieve because every fish type is so different so every single fish ages differently,” he says.

“The size of every single fish is different. For meat the aging time is usually the same – as they have been raised on the same food, in the same environment. As fish come from its natural environment – every single fish is completely different.”

Creating the perfect sushi is difficult still: you need the exact balance of shari (sushi rice) and neta (fish). His favourite ingredients to work with are silver fish, Kohada (Japanese gizzard shad), Aji (horse mackerel) and Saba (mackerel).

“Fish that is slightly aged becomes softer and the best flavours (umami) comes out. This balance with my sushi rice creates sushi unlike anywhere else.”

It’s this perfect balance that he credits his Michelin stars to. But if you don’t plan on heading to Tokyo – or don’t want to leave a booking to chance – Kimura is coming to one of Australia’s most luxury boutique hotels, Rae’s on Wategos, for an exclusive dining experience.

On Tuesday 8 November, Chef Kimura will host an exclusive and intimate lunch in Rae’s Penthouse (priced at $425 a person inclusive of paired beverages). On Wednesday 9 November, Chef Kimura will join Rae’s executive chef, Jason Saxby for a seven-course tasting degustation (priced at $325 a person inclusive of paired beverages).

The dinner is part of a week-long sushi tour hosted by Rachel Lang, director of Plan Japan, to celebrate the return of travel to Japan.