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Chef adds fresh flair to Mimasu's Japanese fusion

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Less than six months after deciding to switch careers and pursue a law degree, chef Brent Potuszynski was enticed back to the kitchen to make his mark at Japanese fusion restaurant Mimasu.

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Potuszynski had been head chef at Georges on Waymouth since late 2015, having joined the kitchen team after returning to Adelaide following an intense few years working at top restaurants in London.

But at the start of this year, he needed a break.

“It had been non-stop work, so the work-life balance was all out of whack and I’d been doing it for so long,” he says.

“I started thinking about other things I’d like to do with my life so I started a law degree at the start of this year.”

To make a living while studying, he took a job as a casual chef at Mimasu, which opened around a year ago on the ground floor of the Vue on King William apartment building at 411-427 King William Street.

Potuszynski felt the restaurant had a lot of potential that wasn’t fully being met – “it’s a really impressive-looking place” – so when the building’s developer offered him the head chef’s position, he couldn’t resist.

Chef Brent Potuszynski. Photo: John Krüger

“He (the owner) wanted a chef that had a clear vision about the type of food he wanted to do … we both saw this place doing contemporary funky Japanese with a twist, that twist being the Australian side.”

Since stepping into the role seven weeks ago, Potuszynski has introduced a fresh menu with dishes that seek to display more technique and creativity. One of his aims is to develop a signature style, so that diners can recognise a Mimasu dish.

“I took a lot of inspiration from the modern techniques I learnt overseas and adapted it to Japanese cuisine,” he says of the menu.

“Basically we are a Japanese-Australian restaurant; we’re not your traditional Japanese restaurant and we don’t want people to think we are.”

One of Brent Potuszynski’s desserts at Mimasu. Photo: John Krüger

New additions to the menu include soft-shell crab tempura with a hibiscus glaze and wasabi foam; South Australian king prawns with avocado, jalapeno dressing and yuzu powder; and a chocolate dessert with black sesame panna cotta and sponge, mandarin and Suntory whisky gel.

Potuszynski has also adapted a few favourite dishes from the previous menu, one of which is a seared kangaroo loin with black garlic aioli, pickled grapes, toasted pumpkin seed and saltbush.

Mimasu’s seared kangaroo loin. Photo: John Krüger

“The style of food that we do, to me, suits what Adelaide people want. … the menu is built around sharing dishes and I think that really suits Adelaide.”

He also wants to further promote the fact that the restaurant has what is believed to be Adelaide’s largest Japanese whisky range. For the adventurous, there are interesting cocktails such as a matcha martini.

Potuszynski hopes the changes will increase Mimasu’s profile and bring more diners through the door.

And while his new chef role has enabled more work-life balance than he had in the past, he hasn’t completely given up on his law degree: now he’s just studying part-time instead of full-time.

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