Kisume is a three-level Japanese restaurant situated in a 1950s building in the heart of Flinders Lane and represents The Lucas Group’s ambition to create a new style of high-quality dining experience, based on the client’s obsession with beauty and sensuality.

The brief is to break the conventions of a typical Japanese dining experience and define a new and unexpected territory, an intriguing twist and interpretation of Japanese traditions. The aim is to fuse together the realms of design, art and dining into a unique experience across three levels.

Approaching the restaurant, the customer’s attention is captivated by a sensual red façade with a circular window that filters the view from the outside through a pattern engraved into the glass yet reveals a space that feels a world away from the bustling city streets.

The access to the restaurant is via the building’s main entrance; red-tinted glass doors framed in blackened brass lead to a transitioning space, the building’s lobby, painted in charcoal grey, where the customers immerse themselves in the darkness and prepare themselves to discover Kisume’s particular beauty. The moody yet minimalist design boasts a concrete structure softened by pale timber flooring, blackened brass features, grey leather and velvet upholstery and dusty pink curtains.

The ground floor level holds a sculptural sushi bar, crowned with floating black stone look-a-like blocks, with an intimate view of chefs mastering the art of sushi. Behind the chefs, an alcove within the wall, a reinterpretation of tokonoma, reveals precious hand-forged sushi knives. Surrounding the sushi bar, the dining area is lit with dim lights with a few focal points on the artwork of Polly Borland.

A staircase made out of timber and enclosed with glass and blackened brass trims leads to the basement, the most bustling part of the restaurant. It holds a hot kitchen serving the whole three levels, a dispense bar wrapped in blackened brass and gold mirror, a large semi-private nook and a dining area seating 80 guests.

Walking up the stairs to the first floor the guest enters Kuro Kisume, the most bespoke and opulent area of the restaurant. Like a gold leaf, the Chablis bar, made out of brass and gold mirror, casts a faint golden light into the enveloping darkness. A wine wall made out of blackened brass and glass houses over 1000 of the world’s most sought-after wines and a selection of rare sake, leads to two private dining rooms which offer an uncompromisingly secluded dining experience. Adorning the walls is the work of Nobuyoshi Araki – a famed Japanese photographer with an obsession for the sensual and provocative.

At the far end of Kuro Kisume is located the Kaiseki room. Seating up to 12 guests, the Kaiseki room is a creative and intimate Japanese dining experience where the guest can experience an artistic and culinary performance by the head chef.




Melbourne / Woiworung Country




Mark Roper