Part III: August 2017. The End.

mono no aware 「物の哀れ」:the impermanence or transcience of things and the gentle, bitter sweet sadness at their passing. A beautiful, fleeting moment.

In the past few months, we have swung between staying open and saying goodbye. We've held off this decision for as long as we could. But it is the complexities of our current site that has sealed our fate. Come Sunday, 3 September, we will close our doors. 

chotto has been everything we hoped it could be and more. We never imagined we would be the place where chefs that we laud would come to eat, that it would be in the pages of Australian Gourmet Traveller, in the 2018 edition of Where Chefs Eat (until we informed them of our closure), or that we would be asked to appear in the opening video of Grow Assembly, Melbourne's equivalent of Copenhagen's MAD. We never imagined our customers would travel to us - from all over Melbourne and beyond - week after week.

To everyone who has given us a chance - supported us, stood up for us and whispered words of encouragement, thank you. We are deeply grateful from the very bottom of our hearts. 

We knew that starting chotto (our first venture) would be difficult, but we never knew how much so. The reality is that it is incredibly hard for a small fish like us to survive in a big sea. We are proud that - despite the odds - we did what we believed in, never compromising on the quality of our ingredients, the integrity of our dishes or our ethics. 

chotto was a beautiful dream, but simply not possible.

We thank you for letting us bring to you our simple, humble vision of Japan. For joining us on our cultural and culinary journeys, from the countryside (inaka feasts) to Japan's far north and deep south (ochazuke weekend). For coming for our traditional wagashi & ikebana workshops, to our Studio Ghibli-inspired food from anime kyara (characters).

It is unlikely that we will embark on another venture on our own. But we may yet do a few more Japanese-themed feasts and culinary adventures which we will announce through Instagram & Facebook.

For now, it is sayonara. We hope you will join us one last time before chotto becomes chotto no more.

With our deepest & humblest gratitude,
誠にありがとうございました,
the owners of chotto.


{Our special thanks to the following individuals}

our staff who have been with us from our opening:

Aya, our chef, for whom chotto would not have been possible
Asuka, our right-hand front of house, for her grace, composure and impeccable service, always
Blair, our barista, for inventing many a drink, doing countless dishes and being amazing all-round
John, our chef, who took a leap of faith to come on board
Wakiko, our barista, who has returned to Japan but remains dear to us
Andy & Nori, for their incredible skills, humour, and for being there for us whenever we called

chefs and mentors:

Andrew McConnell & Dan Hunter, for their invaluable guidance, kind words, encouragement & support
Morgan McGlone & Trisha, for being our cheerleaders & rocks. You've done so much for us!
Archan, for her friendship, mentorship, understanding & warmth
Peter Gunn, for his mentorship, advice & wise words
Rob & Bronwyn Kabboord, for their extraordinary generosity & kindness

Sarin & Jean, for their understanding and encouragement, and for sharing their experiences
Victor Liong, for extending his friendship, encouragement, kindness & support
Banjo & Meira, for giving our humble little start-up a chance
Marwin & Zak, for their friendship, knowledge, wisdom & warmth
Thi, for her humour, companionship, understanding & more

& last but not least:

our parents, for believing in us and supporting us every step of the way,
and for whom chotto would not have been possible
my sister, Michelle, for being my treasured confidant & guiding light
Pei & Anngee, for their precious friendship, and for supporting us in so many ways without a shadow of doubt

Caryn Liew