Food review: Beun Modern Japanese

Shop 1b/1 Lake View Bvd, Mermaid Waters Ph: 07 2103 3255

We have chefs we love, and Chef Yusuke Ito is one of them. Chances are, though, that unless you have been paying close attention, you may have missed knowing about Yusuke.

Quiet and unassuming, as are many Japanese chefs, he has worked his way up through the industry to Head Chef position of some of our most reputed restaurants. Now, with his partner Yayoi Lovern, Yusuke has opened his own restaurant beside a service station off Bermuda Street, Mermaid Waters.

We are fortunate to have a number of exceptional Japanese restaurants on the coast, including some best described as ‘Modern Japanese’ for either their innovative presentation or their fusion of Japanese techniques with Western food elements. Beun is one of them.

A child of parents who owned a bakery, food was in Yusuke’s blood. He trained as a chef of Italian cuisine after completing university in Japan. Unusually, it was after moving to Australia working at Restaurant Ten Japanese, Etsu Izakaya and Iku Yakitori, that he acquired his Japanese culinary skills on his way up to Head Chef position.

Yusuke has named his first restaurant ‘Beun’ in memory of his mother who was killed in a snow accident. Meaning ‘a beautiful cloud’, Beun pays tribute to Yusuke’s mother’s as well as referencing her mastery of ikebana, the Japanese floral arts.

In Beun Modern Japanese, Yusuke brings together the different strands of his culinary experience, combining ingredients and cooking methods from other countries while still retaining Japanese culinary principles and traditions.

Shared appetisers, one cold and one hot start our journey, one being Chirashi, traditionally a Japanese bowl of rice loaded up with seafood and vegetables on top. In Yusuke’s chirashi, salmon, salmon roe, Hokkaido scallop and crab meat, with the addition of puréed avocado, are beautifully arranged along an oblong platter, better showing off the seafood.

One of Yusuke’s signature mains follows, a Japanese version of marinara, the tagliatelle loaded with bugs, prawns, clams and scallops, one of the lightest versions of the dish that we have tried.

We don’t often choose chicken as a main course, however the sous vide chicken breast served with truffle soy butter and potato salad at Beun is perfectly moist and flavoursome. It’s a feat to get chicken breast so succulent.

Belgian chocolate mousse follows, two scoops of the richest velvety chocolate that slides across the tongue. Magnificent!

In the last two dishes especially, Yusuke is the master of understatement. Retaining the elements of purity and simplicity so prized in Japanese cuisine, he presents dishes that look quite simple on the plate yet taste exquisite.

In an extremely visual culinary arena which values presentation, sometimes pretentiously overt in its detail even at the expense of taste, Yusuke bucks the status quo to forge his own flavour-driven path. Yusuke’s food takes the best of East and West, skilfully prepared by a master. Completely different to anywhere else, Beun is not to be underestimated.

NOTE: Mon & Wed BYO; Blank dined as a guest of Beun Modern Japanese.

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