Kuu Cafe & Japanese Kitchen, South Melbourne

Kuu Cafe + Japanese Kitchen is as the name suggests, a brunch cafe with Japanese inspired flavours and dishes. Located in South Melbourne, it's easily accessible via tram 1 on Park Street, just off Claredon Street.

The cafe is quite small and there's not much space for moving around. The tables are quite close together, however the place is quite brightly lit with large windows at the front so it doesn't feel too crowded. There's also seating outside the cafe, which is great in this warm summer weather. The decor is minimal, with white brick walls and a shelf of decorations on one side. The staff were friendly, though at times it took awhile to get their attention as it was quite busy when we went.

The menu at Kuu is quite extensive, with traditional Japanese style dishes that have a modern twist, as well as the typical brunch dishes. We decided to go with japanese fried chicken ($6.50) and the breakfast platter ($19.50), as well as a matcha latte ($4) and a genmai green tea ($4.50). The latte had a good green tea flavour, and wasn't too milky or frothy. The green tea was really refreshing, and was a good palette cleanser.

The fried chicken was very crispy on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside. It came with a celery vinaigrette dipping sauce on the side, but I felt like the chicken had enough flavour itself to not really need the sauce.

The breakfast platter consisted of two onigiri rice balls, two salads of the day, a poached egg with white sesame hollandaise sauce, grilled salmon and miso soup. We got this to share, as it was such a big portion that ended up being very filling. It was quite a light dish, which you'd expect for japanese style food. The soba noodle salad and the greens were refreshing in contrast to the grilled salmon and chicken meatballs, and there was a good balance flavours and textures. The poached egg was cooked perfectly, with the yolk oozing out when cut into.

For dessert, we got a green tea white chocolate cake to share ($7.80). The cake itself had really great matcha flavours, however was a little dry and too sweet with all the layers of chocolate between the cake.

I'd like to come back to Kuu again to try some of their other dishes; the cafe is opened for breakfast lunch and dinner on weekdays. Worth going but for brunch, I'd recommend getting there earlier to not have to wait too long for a table.

Ambience: 8/10
Service: 8/10
Food: 8/10
Price: $$


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