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  • Restaurants
  • Melbourne
  • price 2 of 4
  1. Interiors with red ceiling lights
  2. Oysters on a plate with burgers in background
  3. Toasted brioche appetiser
  4. Cocktail being poured

Time Out says

A casual spot for sushi and robata found in the basement of Akaiito

Literally translating to ‘younger brother’ in Japanese, Otōto is the laidback sibling of Akaiito that takes a more relaxed approach to Japanese dining. Ideally suited for meeting up with friends for a bite to eat or to gather for after-work drinks, the menu is designed for sharing, with highlights including kingfish sashimi on salt rock and Black Angus short rib in a Bo Ssam sauce. Head chef Winston Zhang (who also created the Akaiito offering upstairs) will also showcase his favourite off-the-grill smoky robata specialties, like a grilled miso chicken with yuzu kosho and lime.

Behind the bar, Asian-inspired cocktails flow freely, care of bartender Lionel Ong (Gogo Bar) and consultant George Leung (Maha). Expect a signature Nori Martini and Chinese tea-infused craft cocktails with floral notes. 

The 60-seat venue is also sustainability-led, with everything in the bar from spirit bottles to fruit being repurposed to reduce wastage. "A single piece of fruit will be used in its entirety: pulp for purée, skins and cores macerated to create flavoured syrups, sodas and bases, and the remainder submerged in house flavoured spirits," says Leung. Even with sustainability being a driving force behind the bar, the cocktail menu is expansive and is complemented by local and international wine varietals, craft beers, sake and Japanese whisky. 

The interiors have maintained the history of the space as a once colonial-era bank vault, featuring heritage iron grating, exposed bluestone walls, and original ceiling beams – with the addition of vintage pop culture posters and lantern lights adorning the walls. It's safe to say the relaxed fit-out and sharing menu will suit any occasion, be it a date night or a weekend celebration with friends.

From elegant sushi bars to izakayas, we've rounded up the best of Melbourne's Japanese eateries here.

Written by
Sanam Goodman


349-351 Flinders Lane
Opening hours:
Tue-Sun 5pm-late
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