Gastronomer’s Guide: Ian (Young Min) Lee’s ‘Pearl of the Sea’

'Gastronomer's Guide' features an outstanding Chef, their experiences and the secrets behind their signature dish

The Dish

Pearl of the Sea

Having a venue on the water’s edge, a dish crafted around fresh Australian seafood felt like a must. Designed to surprise and delight, Pearl of the Sea was created to hero fresh Australian tiger prawns from Western Australia. Notably (apart from the prawns), the best part of the dish is the balsamic pearls made in-house to replicate black caviar. The pearls add a tangy burst of flavour to complement the already smoky and sweet combinations throughout the dish from the house-smoked kale and mango-chilli salsa. Influenced by my Korean heritage, Asian spices also play a part in the dish to add a hint of freshness and heat: balanced to perfection.  

Delivering on the sustainability focus here at Pearl Riverfront, the menu encompasses ingredients sourced locally from Melbourne’s farmers markets to ensure we’re delivering fresh from farm to plate, wherever possible.

The Chef

Ian (Young Min) Lee

With over 25 years’ experience working in numerous 5-star hotel restaurants, my passion lies in the diversification and evolution of food in my kitchen and taking diners on a sensory experience with every morsel. Having grown up in Korea, I’ve intricately dedicated my craft to creating my own diverse one-of-a-kind dishes through endorsing different cuisines from around the world influenced by the multiculturalism of Melbourne’s food scene.