Marumo is a restaurant that is incredibly hard to get a booking for. Open just 4 days per week, Tuesday to Friday, one sitting and only 24 covers. I have been trying for three years, logging in at 10am when the bookings open, and paging through the calendar, hoping to get a reservation – usually they are all gone in 2 minutes. Luckily though, I finally managed to get a table for two on my partner’s birthday, and could not wait to try this mystery establishment. There’s even an urban myth that it’s not real, but it certainly is real, and sits right on Stirling Highway in the Chelsea Village complex. There’s plentiful parking at the back, and as you walk in you realise that this is a stylish intimate space, and something truly special.
It’s BYO, but as my partner has been very unwell lately we decided to skip the alcohol and sample the bottomless green tea that is supplied with the meal. He still wasn’t feeling anywhere near his best, but managed to last the three hour sitting, mainly encouraged by the delicious selection of dishes and the fact that it was his birthday. The menu is a 7 course omakase which means that the dishes are selected by the chef, and currently $85 per head which is good value for the quality.
We started with an amuse bouche of marinated squid salad, which was fresh and tender and a perfect option to tickle the tastebuds.
Next came edamame with fish roe. If you have had edamame before you would probably be expecting the whole beans where you bite them to squeeze the beans out of the pod, and leave the pod behind. This was completely different – the beans were mashed into croquettes and fried with a crispy lace topping and fish roe – again perfectly executed.
Followed by Fremantle octopus ochazuke, a wonderful octopus and slaw mini salad accompanied by rice and corn in a superbly rich and fragrant green tea broth. We were advised to eat the octopus first and the rice and broth second.
After this we were served Margaret River Yearling beef – excellent quality beef with sweet potato noodles and lotus root.
Then the chef’s selection of sashimi, coral trout, salmon and hamachi – fresh, great quality, excellent wasabi. A very enjoyable trio of fish.
Next came one of the standout dishes (they were all amazing – so this was a superbly amazing dish) – the chef’s sushi – prawn inside the roll, and salmon and tobiko on top. I love the way the tobiko pops and adds a real level of umami to the whole dish. We were advised to eat each piece whole rather than bite it, which we did, and all of the flavours together were just perfect.
Then we had a palate cleanser. I would not have expected to say that a palate cleanser was a standout dish, but this was incredible. Yuzu and orange gave it a sherbety zinginess that I have never experienced before – wow I could have happily had a few more portions of this magic.
Then another standout dish, duck with mushroom, truffled carrot and pickled cucumber. The duck skin was beautifully crispy, the mushroom incredibly rich, and the carrot divine. I am not usually a big truffle fan but the truffle wasn’t too much and brought an earthiness to the whole dish.
Then all too soon, the last dish arrived nashi pear with shio koji ice cream and a pear meringue. The ice cream had a caramel flavour, the pear was sweet and perfumed, and the meringue just beautifully made. A memorable end to a memorable meal.
It didn’t feel like we were there for three hours, the servings were very well paced, and the sizes of the portions were just right. The hostess asked us which dishes we liked the best which was a nice touch and she said that she was looking forward to seeing us again. I will definitely be online again as soon as the next bookings are released, because I can’t wait to return. Marumo is a very special experience, and if you get the chance, you should definitely go.
Last Visit – August 2022