Add this place to your mental list of ‘restaurants to impress visiting Sydney people’. Future Future is the real deal.
You might have spotted this one already—a two-storey Japanese eatery on Swan St, just opposite Fonda. It certainly looks interesting from the outside. A crumbling brick terrace from 1908, decked out in terrazzo stone, TV-static bench tops, ashy timber and svelte charcoal tones.
Future Future is the latest venue from the crew behind Congress. But they’ve really swung for the fences this time.
“It’s really a Melbourne restaurant, not a Japanese restaurant,” says co-owner and venue manager Stefanie Breschi. “We’re quite purist in terms of flavours though. It’s not pan-Asian. There’s no Korean twist or anything.”
The flavours might be pure, but the execution feels experimental. Think free-range pork belly topped with an ‘Onsen egg’, potato crisps and yuzu salt. Or maybe raw Wagyu strip loin, shaved super thin, served alongside puffed wild rice and wasabi crème fraiche. You can check out the full menu here.
Another nice touch: all diners get fizzy iced tea (spiked with chamomile and mandarin zest) and Otoshi sweet potato crisps when they sit down. Free of charge. “There’s elements of the service that are reminiscent of fine dining,” says Breschi, “but we’re going for a slightly more casual feel.”
There’s multiple levels to explore in here, depending on your mood. In for a quick Hibiki highball and some light snacks? Pull up a stool in the bar out back. Longer meals will take place in the front dining room, with its izakaya style bench seating and views of Swan St. There’s a private dining room as well, plus a function space upstairs. Did we mention the rear courtyard and north-facing second-storey deck? (They'll be coming online over the next few months...)
You can see why the Congress team were so keen to nab this space.
Last tip? Make sure you save room for the matcha and sake tiramisu. You can’t leave without a taste.
If this is Richmond’s future (future), it’s looking bright.
Image credit: Future Future