There’s a new Japanese pop-up in Melbourne this winter serving the best hot pots

Japanese hot pot shabyu shabu

Melbourne is known for its food – just ask the chefs at this year’s Melbourne Good Food Month – so it seemed like the right place for Master Den to temporarily set-up shop on the site of the old Kappo restaurant for all things ‘Japanese hot pots’.

The pop-up – or ‘poppu uppu’ in Japanese – has been open since 20 June and with the likes of the renowned Izakaya Den and Hihou in the mix, is offering a unique take on ‘nabemono’ dining experiences of Japan, where a pot is filled with broth and allowed to simmer, before vegetables and protein are gradually added to cook.

The poppu-uppu offers dozens of varieties of hot pots, each with a distinguished flavour and style, and Master Den has created his own special versions of shabu shabu, a Hokkaido-style seafood nabe, and an elegant Japanese mushroom hot pot, that guests make themselves at the table guided by the friendly staff.

Japanese hot pot

What’s on the menu?

The Shabu Shabu features a konbu flavoured broth, with a plate of wagyu rump, topside and sirloin 6+, with the option to add speciality cuts like rump cap, scotch fillet and Japanese favourite, Cube roll.

The Hokkaido style Seafood Nabe has a light miso flavoured broth, and is filled with Tasmanian Salmon fillet, local mussels and Mackeral, or add local flathead fillets, New Zealand pippies, Coffin Bay Oysters, Crystal Bay prawns and Harvey Bay scallops.

The Special Mushroom Hot Potcomes with a konbu, sake and soy flavoured broth, silken tofu, and a selection of Japanese mushrooms including shiitake, enoki, shimeji, oyster, and king brown.

All three hot pot varieties are served with an assortment of vegetables and accompaniments like wombok potato, spring onion, house-made special sauce and ponzu sauce, goma (sesame sauce), Momiji oroshi (Japanese daikon & chilli), and yuzu koshu (Japanese seasoning made from chili peppers, yuzu peel and salt)

The hot pots are finished with Udon noodles, handmade by Udon specialist and Izakaya Den and Nama Nama’s original Head Chef, Yosuke Furukawa.

It’s a casual yet quirky makeover with some signature touches from Master Den himself. Master Den’s Poppu Uppu encourages bookings, but walk-ins are also welcome.

Master Den’s Poppu Uppu

Opens Wednesday 20 June

1 Flinders Lane, Melbourne

(03) 9639 9500

Monday-Friday, 5pm-10pm

Japanese hot pot broth