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J A M E S

4.8
4.8
74 Reviews
$41 to $100
Modern Australian

J A M E S offers two services per day, Tuesday through Saturday.

Our express lunch seats from 11am - 3pm and guests can enjoy an East-Asian inspired menu alongside our regular drinks menu including hand-selected local and international wines, and a mixed drinks list which reflects the menu. Drop in for an indulgent office lunch, a quick midweek bite, or an overdue catch up with friends and colleagues.

Dinner seatings are from 5pm until late, and head chef Kim Sangsoo has designed a menu that is a cultural embrace. The chef takes his South Korean heritage, weaves in Australian native botanicals and taps into his classic skill to deliver dishes that are equal parts contemporary and comforting.

Hidden in plain sight on Clarendon St, stop by and experience fine dining, casually.

Make a reservation

2 people

January 2022
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7:00 pm


Booked 12 times today
  • Dining style

    Casual Dining

  • Cuisines

    Modern Australian, Wine Bar, Creative Japanese

  • Hours of Operation

    Tue–Sat 11:00 am–3:00 pm
    Tue–Sat 5:00 pm–12:00 am

  • Phone number

    (03) 9690 9285

  • Payment Options

    AMEX, MasterCard, Visa

  • Dress Code

    Casual Dress

  • Executive Chef

    Kim Sangsoo

  • Area

    South Melbourne

  • Parking Details

    Try the carpark off James Lane.

  • Additional

    Beer, BYO Wine, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Gluten-free Options, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Vegan, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Safety precautions

  • Cleaning & sanitising

    • Surfaces sanitised between seatings
    • Common areas deep-cleaned daily
    • Sanitiser or wipes provided for customers
  • Physical distancing

    • Limited number of seated diners
    • Distancing maintained in common areas
    • Extra space between tables
  • Screening

    • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace

Menu

Main

  • Fries / Truffle Oil / Black Galric Mayo$11.00

    • Baby Cucumber & Chive Kimchi$5.00

      • Rice Noodle / Soybean Broth / Cucumber / Boiled Egg / Nori / Pistachio / Sesame Seed / Spring Onion & Ginger Oil$23.00

        • Soba Noodle / Dashi Broth / Yuzu Tomato / Edamame / Shiitake / Green Bean / Kale / Spring Onion & Ginger Oil$23.00

          • Ramen Noodle / Spicy Broth / Goolwa Pipi / Dried Seaweed / Bronze Fennel$23.00

            • Ramen Noodle / Spanner Crab / Asparagus / Finger Lime / Lemon Thyme / Sea Blight$23.00

              • Ramen Noodle / Smoked Chicken / Cream / Fennel / Burnt Chilli & Finger Lime / Shiitake Powder / Koji Crumb$23.00

                • Ramen Noodle / Braised Kimchi & Pork / Broccolini / Kohlrabi$23.00

                  • Strawberry Sorbet / Raspberry / Fennel Relish / Seed Oil / Milk Skin$11.00

                    Last updated: 14 December 2021

                    What 74 people are saying

                    Overall ratings and reviews

                    Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant

                    4.8
                    4.8 based on recent ratings
                    • 4.8Food
                    • 4.7Service
                    • 4.7Ambience
                    • 4.5Value

                    NoiseModerate

                    Loved For

                    • Melbourne

                      Best Food

                    • Melbourne

                      Modern Australian

                    • Inner City South

                      Best Overall

                    • Inner City South

                      Best Food

                    • Inner City South

                      Best Service

                    • Inner City South

                      Best Ambience

                    • Inner City South

                      Best Value

                    • Inner City South

                      Fit for Foodies

                    Sort by

                    Filters

                    1. M

                      Marette

                      Melbourne

                      2 reviews

                      vip
                      5.0

                      2 reviews

                      Dined 2 days ago

                      overall5food5service4ambience4

                      Dinner at James as really fantastic - the food is inventive and the flavours amazing. The only criticism we had was that the food came out very quickly which meant we felt a little rushed through the meal. We will be back though - loved it!

                    2. OT

                      OpenTable Diner

                      Melbourne

                      1 review

                      4.0

                      1 review

                      Dined on 8 January 2022

                      overall4food5service4ambience4

                      Delicious food but small serve

                    3. OT

                      OpenTable Diner

                      Victoria

                      1 review

                      5.0

                      1 review

                      Dined on 6 January 2022

                      overall5food5service5ambience5

                      Interesting flavours and use of native ingredients. Dishes were well balanced and incredibly tasty. Place was relatively quiet for dinner and the service was impeccable.

                    4. I

                      Isabelle

                      London

                      1 review

                      5.0

                      1 review

                      Dined on 22 December 2021

                      overall5food5service5ambience5

                      Delicious food. Well presented, lovely staff. The perfect quiet dinner.

                    5. B

                      Bobby

                      Melbourne

                      4 reviews

                      4.0

                      4 reviews

                      Dined on 18 December 2021

                      overall4food4service5ambience4

                      Great food with relaxed atmosphere. Staff were attentive without being pushy and each course was a subtle blend of flavours and textures. Good drinks list with nice non / no alcohol options.

                    6. FB

                      FletcherB

                      Hawaii

                      1 review

                      5.0

                      1 review

                      Dined on 14 December 2021

                      overall5food5service5ambience5

                      Took my girlfriend here for her birthday, food and service exquisite!

                    7. OT

                      OpenTable Diner

                      1 review

                      4.0

                      1 review

                      Dined on 11 December 2021

                      overall4food5service5ambience5

                      Great food

                    8. SA

                      SarahA

                      1 review

                      5.0

                      1 review

                      Dined on 9 December 2021

                      overall5food5service5ambience5

                      Very hospitable staff, kind welcoming and the interior of the restaurant was beautiful. The food was incredible, interesting flavour combinations that surprise and please the tastebuds!! The ramen with smoked chicken was well balanced and flavourful. The menu changes with different specials, would highly recommend!

                    9. OT

                      OpenTable Diner

                      Melbourne

                      2 reviews

                      vip
                      5.0

                      2 reviews

                      Dined on 3 December 2021

                      overall5food5service5ambience5

                      The British waiter was outstanding!! Best food in Melbourne by far! Highly recommend.

                    10. BC

                      BryC

                      1 review

                      5.0

                      1 review

                      Dined on 3 December 2021

                      overall5food5service5ambience5

                      I was hosting a client lunch just for 3 of us. Food was absolutely beautiful. Every dish was amazing. Wine was also delicious. Service also fantastic. Will be back again. Thank you!

                    11. OT

                      OpenTable Diner

                      1 review

                      4.0

                      1 review

                      Dined on 30 November 2021

                      overall4food5service4ambience4

                      Great food but very expensive

                    12. M

                      Mary

                      San Francisco

                      1 review

                      5.0

                      1 review

                      Dined on 26 November 2021

                      overall5food5service4ambience5

                      Delicious food and wine! Friendly staff. Highly recommended.

                    13. PJ

                      PJC2020

                      Melbourne

                      1 review

                      5.0

                      1 review

                      Dined on 24 November 2021

                      overall5food5service5ambience5

                      Beautiful food cooked with care and attention to detail with good advice on how much to order. Loved the fact that it is designed to share and not food I would attempt to cook at home, while not being ridiculously priced. If you haven't been there you are missing out on a gem.

                    14. JH

                      JanH

                      Melbourne

                      1 review

                      5.0

                      1 review

                      Dined on 23 November 2021

                      overall5food5service5ambience5

                      terrific combination of Japanesy type of food with indigenous ingredients. great flavours but not fussy, silly food.

                    15. OT

                      OpenTable Diner

                      San Francisco

                      1 review

                      5.0

                      1 review

                      Dined on 20 November 2021

                      overall5food5service5ambience5

                      Always a safe bet.

                    16. HI

                      HenryI

                      Sydney

                      1 review

                      5.0

                      1 review

                      Dined on 17 November 2021

                      overall5food5service5ambience5

                      fantastic! The meal was delicious and the venue perfect for an intimate lunch

                    17. AC

                      AlexC

                      Melbourne

                      3 reviews

                      5.0

                      3 reviews

                      Dined on 13 November 2021

                      overall5food5service5ambience5

                      This was one of our first dinners out since lockdown ended and it did not disappoint! Incredible menu and wine list and beautiful venue. We’ll be back

                    18. JC

                      JessicaC

                      Melbourne

                      1 review

                      5.0

                      1 review

                      Dined on 13 November 2021

                      overall5food5service5ambience5

                      My absolute favourite local place to introduce my friends too. Food is always fantastic, service is warm and helpful. Thank you!

                    19. OT

                      OpenTable Diner

                      Victoria

                      1 review

                      5.0

                      1 review

                      Dined on 12 November 2021

                      overall5food5service5ambience5

                      I had a lovely birthday dinner here last night. The meals are all very small, so you need to order quite a bit of food! It’s sort of like a degustation where you share all the meals. The stand out was the smoked chicken and the lamb. And the only meal we all didn’t love was the calamari.

                    20. J

                      Jenn

                      1 review

                      5.0

                      1 review

                      Dined on 11 November 2021

                      overall5food4service5ambience4

                      The staff was so so lovely and very helpful. They explained all the dishes we ordered, and the food was AHMAZING!

                    21. s

                      sandee

                      1 review

                      5.0

                      1 review

                      Dined on 5 November 2021

                      overall5food5service5ambience5

                      So lucky to have this restaurant bar as my local. Outstanding food and service. Ambiance amazing.

                    22. KC

                      KristieC

                      Melbourne

                      9 reviews

                      5.0

                      9 reviews

                      Dined on 4 November 2021

                      overall5food5service5ambience5

                      Loved it. Great plates to share and the flavours were beautiful. A neighbourhood gem.

                    23. MG

                      MissGibby13

                      Melbourne

                      4 reviews

                      5.0

                      4 reviews

                      Dined on 30 September 2021

                      overall5food5service5ambience5

                      Stunning celebratory meal at home! Every part of the whole experience was a delight from my initial communications, the menu, the video of plating up, the delivery, the simple and easy instructions then the food… delicious, surprising, exciting - we were blown away. We are so lucky to have restaurants of this caliber here in Melbourne

                    24. P

                      Priscilla

                      1 review

                      5.0

                      1 review

                      Dined on 31 July 2021

                      overall5food5service5ambience5

                      10/10 would recommend going!!!! Visited for the first time with a group of friends and we had the best night ever, seriously my favourite wine bar in South Melbourne now. This place is seriously amazing and the wine selection is so good. Staff is very friendly, service is on point. Didn’t try the food but will do next time, definitely going back!!!!!

                    25. AG

                      AliceG

                      1 review

                      5.0

                      1 review

                      Dined on 30 July 2021

                      overall5food5service5ambience5

                      We really enjoyed our night here - the food was fabulous. The staff were attentive, without being overbearing or pushy. We stayed for ages and felt comfortable ordering slowly. Every dish we had was fabulous! The pippis and potato stood out. Highly recommend and plenty of different vegan/veg options. Highly recommend.

                    26. JC

                      JessicaC

                      Melbourne

                      2 reviews

                      5.0

                      2 reviews

                      Dined on 14 July 2021

                      overall5food5service5ambience5

                      THE place to share with friends who love good food and a chilled ambience. Attentive service, amazingly good food, great alcohol list… always am happy to share my local with friends near and wide.

                    27. A

                      Anton

                      Melbourne

                      3 reviews

                      5.0

                      3 reviews

                      Dined on 10 July 2021

                      overall5food5service5ambience5

                      One of the best meals I've ever had in a city I've spent 30 years in! The interior design & styling, relaxing atmosphere, personable service, and attention to detail set the mood for share plates that are impeccably balanced. From punchy bursts of flavour to subtle underlying tones that linger on the palate, EVERY SINGLE DISH was a privilege from start to finish and I found myself quietly happy-dancing on more occasions than I care to admit. For me, this is the new era of Modern Australian cuisine where the meat can take a backseat to the highlighted forgotten flavour of vegetables. Dining here was an absolute pleasure and I can't wait to return to sample their ever-changing seasonal dishes.

                    28. M

                      Mary

                      Melbourne

                      1 review

                      4.0

                      1 review

                      Dined on 10 July 2021

                      overall4food4service4ambience4

                      probably the best chips I've ever eaten! Piping Hot!

                    29. OT

                      OpenTable Diner

                      Melbourne

                      1 review

                      5.0

                      1 review

                      Dined on 10 July 2021

                      overall5food5service5ambience5

                      Food was so amazing! Cant believe we’ve waited so long to go back. Truffle on ice cream is a revelation! The wines by the glass also really good and plenty of options.

                    30. GS

                      GailS

                      1 review

                      4.0

                      1 review

                      Dined on 9 July 2021

                      overall4food4service4ambience4

                      Great place for a drink and yummy food . The chips in truffle oil were a big hit!

                    31. JO

                      JOJO

                      Melbourne

                      21 reviews

                      vip
                      5.0

                      21 reviews

                      Dined on 7 July 2021

                      overall5food5service5ambience5

                      Fantastic wine and tapas. Soooooooo yummy . Omg so yummy

                    32. B

                      Bern

                      New York Area

                      4 reviews

                      vip
                      5.0

                      4 reviews

                      Dined on 3 July 2021

                      overall5food5service4ambience4

                      Delicious food and great wine

                    33. RC

                      ReyC

                      1 review

                      4.0

                      1 review

                      Dined on 2 July 2021

                      overall4food4service4ambience4

                      Great Place We had a party of 9. All attendees stated how they liked it and will return with friends

                    34. LT

                      LTShoes

                      Melbourne

                      4 reviews

                      4.0

                      4 reviews

                      Dined on 1 July 2021

                      overall4food4service4ambience4

                      We had group 6 people and chose the set menu. The food was great and the decor and atmosphere made for a wonderful evening.

                    35. JB

                      JellyBean

                      Melbourne

                      1 review

                      5.0

                      1 review

                      Dined on 26 June 2021

                      overall5food5service5ambience5

                      The staff and service were great, the food was amazing. The pace of when the food came out was perfect and loved the atmosphere. I would definitely go back!

                    36. TK

                      TessaK

                      1 review

                      5.0

                      1 review

                      Dined on 23 June 2021

                      overall5food5service5ambience5

                      Fantastic food, great service, excellent wine, pork chop is to die for - next time hopefully I won't have to share it!

                    37. AM

                      AnnaM

                      Melbourne

                      9 reviews

                      5.0

                      9 reviews

                      Dined on 23 June 2021

                      overall5food5service5ambience5

                      The food was amazing. Great flavours. The service was friendly and efficient.

                    38. JD

                      JennyD

                      Melbourne

                      11 reviews

                      5.0

                      11 reviews

                      Dined on 23 June 2021

                      overall5food5service4ambience4

                      Had heard about this place from a friend so decided to try it for lunch. Food was simply amazing. Every dish we ordered was outstanding. Not too busy and staff very friendly and helpful. Would recommend James to anyone.

                    39. V

                      Vera

                      London

                      2 reviews

                      5.0

                      2 reviews

                      Dined on 20 June 2021

                      overall5food5service5ambience5

                      It was breakfast with a twist. Our verdict on Cafe James it gets a mighty 8/10 thoughtful service, very good coffee and chai with and intriguing twist on breakfast!

                    40. B

                      Brit

                      Melbourne

                      3 reviews

                      vip
                      5.0

                      3 reviews

                      Dined on 19 June 2021

                      overall5food5service5ambience5

                      JAMES restaurant was a massively pleasant suprise! Booking was made, as we came across JAMES on Open Table and thought we would try after looking at the very delicious sounding menu. We were not disappointed at all. Recommend ordering double serve of the potato bread, as it was to delicious to have just one. Other dishes were so very tasty. Have been recommending to all!

                    FAQs

                    J A M E S is rated 4.8 stars by 74 OpenTable diners.

                    Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting bookings at the moment.

                    Make a reservation

                    2 people

                    January 2022
                    Mon
                    Tue
                    Wed
                    Thu
                    Fri
                    Sat
                    Sun
                    27
                    28
                    29
                    30
                    31
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                    7:00 pm


                    Booked 12 times today
                    Google Map for J A M E S

                    323 Clarendon Street South Melbourne, AU-VIC 3205

                    • Area

                      South Melbourne

                    • Hours of Operation

                      Tue–Sat 11:00 am–3:00 pm
                      Tue–Sat 5:00 pm–12:00 am

                    • Cuisines

                      Modern Australian, Wine Bar, Creative Japanese

                    • Dining style

                      Casual Dining

                    • Dress Code

                      Casual Dress

                    • Parking Details

                      Try the carpark off James Lane.

                    • Payment Options

                      AMEX, MasterCard, Visa

                    • Executive Chef

                      Kim Sangsoo

                    • Additional

                      Beer, BYO Wine, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Gluten-free Options, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Vegan, Wheelchair Access, Wine

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