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The San Telmo team sets fire to the Japanese grill restaurant, Robata, in the former Gazi space

The San Telmo team is taking their love of fire cooking in a new direction with Robata, which opened in Melbourne’s CBD. As the name suggests, chef Stephen Clark and his team are replacing Argentina with Japan, celebrating the art of cooking over binchotan charcoal.

The yakitori, including the chicken thigh, tsukune, and chicken heart, will be grilled, along with wagyu short ribs, Skull Island shrimp, and sake brushed shiitake mushrooms. The rest of the menu is a mix of raw seafood from Yosuke Furukawa, Robata’s sous-chef who was recently in Nobu, and more courageous dishes like tonkotsu pork and Rangers Valley skirt steak marinated in shio koji. .

Clark, who has been in San Telmo for eight and a half years, is excited to get behind the robata and cook some of his favorite Japanese dishes.

Chef Stephen Clark has just spent eight years in San Telmo to take over the Japanese grill from Robata. Photo: Supplied

“The grill has always been my biggest inspiration, and it’s still at the forefront even in this new chapter of my career.”

Robata takes over the site that once housed George Calombaris’ Gazi. The minimalist and futuristic space holds 120 diners, seated under an arrangement of light boxes reminiscent of Tokyo’s neon-lit streetscapes.

A pretty matcha and black sesame parfait is half of the current dessert menu, while the other is a sparkling sake poured over the sherbet, a chic update of the spider. Sake is high on the drink list, along with a full contingent of Japanese whiskeys, real Asahi on tap and Victorian wines.

Open from 5 p.m. on Wednesday and noon from Thursday to Sunday.

2 Exhibition Street, Melbourne, 03 9989 3575,

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