With the White Australia policy firmly in the past new Asian food choices emerged on the restaurant scene. The arrival of refugees from Vietnam saw Vietnamese restaurants opening in Melbourne, the first being the Kinh Do in Hartwell. Although the first teppanyaki restaurant in Australia opened in Melbourne in 1975, and Kuni’s in the city opened in 1977, it wasn’t until the mid ‘80s that Japanese food became mainstream.
Kuni’s Japanese restaurant was opened by Kunihiro Ichikawa, who came to Melbourne as a student in 1974. It was one of the earliest Japanese restaurants in Australia.