Tokyo Chic Konbini, Melbourne

Manekineko cat neon light at Hibiki Future

Hibiki, in Camberwell, is a little slice of Tokyo cool in the suburbs of Melbourne. It is one of our favourite go-to places when we want to eat something really scrumptious. Their breakfast is particularly delicious. However, any time of day is a good time to eat at Hibiki. The menu and atmosphere change at night when light and airy Hibiki transforms into Hibiki Kuro…The innovative fusion of Japanese and Modern Australian is clever. You have to narrow the menu down from wanting everything to choosing one or two things.

Recently, Hibiki have opened Future, right next door to the restaurant. Future is a konbini (convenience store) like no other. Aesthetically the store is similar to the restaurant; clean, modern, and funky. Future has a stylish ambience, and is a far cry from its inspirations, Lawson and Family Mart. The thoughtfully curated selection of Japanese goods is displayed on chipboard shelves. The selection of take away meals and Japanese bakery items is seductive.

We visited Future on our way to the city a few weeks ago. Despite our lunch plans, we were tempted beyond resistance to try some onigirazu. These are Future’s take on onigiri. They are filled with completely delectable ingredients and pretty enough to be Insta-worthy. My tuna mayo onigirazu, with tuna, Sriracha Kewpie, parsley, ponzu, shallots and Yukari rice in nori was an umami taste bomb.

Our last dinner at Hibiki was spurred on by the frustration I had felt throughout lockdown that Hibiki is 24km from home. A distance well beyond our lockdown limitation of 5km. Watching their photos on socials was akin to torture. One dish had captured my attention. The omurice. I love omurice and the winter menu option this year was omurice with beef cheek Demi-glace. Accordingly, we went speeding down the hill as soon as we were allowed to escape our 6th, or was it 7th, period of captivity?

We started with the ever delicious renkon chips and some edamame. Hibiki edamame may well be the best in Melbourne. It is served with chat masala, a spice mix of amchoor, black salt, cumin, coriander, black pepper, ginger, mint, ajwain and asafoetida. The flavour compliments the warm, fresh beans perfectly. I had the omurice that I had lusted after for months, obviously. It was deeply satisfying. Comforting, rich, savoury goodness. Super Sake Boy had a chicken curry gratin. Indulgently cheesy curry rice with an egg. Super yummy!!

If you are in Melbourne and wish you could be in Japan, head to Hibiki and Future. Soak in the funky Tokyo feels. You can read about my first visit to Hibiki here, in Hibiki…Echoes of Tokyo in Camberwell.

Hibiki is located at 1161 Toorak Rd, Camberwell. Hours, menus and all other information can be found on their website.

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