When March bookings re-opened for Sashimi Shinsengumi’s new Crows Nest location at 9am on February 21, the entire booking period was snapped up in 70 minutes. Desperate callers still ring chef Shinji Matsui and his wife Tomoko as late as midnight to try and sweet-talk them into securing them a spot. A restaurant that attracts this level of demand is something most Sydney restaurateurs would kill to possess, but that’s exactly what Sashimi Shinsengumi has achieved – and all Matsui-san did was to do what he’s always done: make darn good sushi. I can’t help you secure a booking, but I can show you exactly what you’ll be missing out on 😉
How many restaurants are there in Hong Kong? The latest Hong Kong Government statistics puts the number of licensed venues at around 24,000. Eat at a new place each day and it would take you a solid 65 years to get through them all.
I didn’t have 65 years; I had two weeks. But I’ll be damned if I let myself be accused of not trying. Welcome to my good food guide for eating around Hong Kong: the I’m Still Hungry Edition.
Visits: April 2017, December 2014
When Yu Sasaki embarked on his culinary career over a decade ago, he knew that one day he would open his own restaurant. Twelve years in the making, the traditional Japanese curtains known as noren were finally put in place, marking the entrance to Restaurant Sasaki. Nestled in the concrete jungle between Alberta Street and Nithsdale Lane, it’s in a bit of a hidden spot; it’s about to get a lot less hidden.
That Kentaro (Kenny) Takayama is lucky that his name isn’t palindromic can be considered a good thing. It would have been awkward to own two separate cafes with the exact same name – can you imagine the confusion? Flipping his name on its head is Redfern favourite Cafe Oratnek. Now, we have Cafe Kentaro in Surry Hills. The name’s done a 180, but critically – has the food?
Matcha. Matcha. Matcha. A staple of life for many in Japan and China. Possessing a ludicrously long list of health benefits, the humble green tea powder has now taken the rest of the world by storm: the #matcha hashtag has been used over two million times on Instagram alone; it’s safe to say that if you still haven’t seen a #matchalatte or #matchapancake floating around, you don’t go out very much. You know how else I know matcha is in vogue? When it’s actually in Vogue. It is timely then, along with the advent of winter, that I cover Sydney’s matcha scene with no better representative than the matcha latte.
When it comes to Japanese food, residents of Sydney’s Lower North Shore are not exactly spoilt for choice: with a higher concentration of authentic restaurants than anywhere else in Sydney, this is the postcode to consider. Despite the abundance of choice, restaurants can still stand out if they have the chops. Case in point: Toshiya, in Cremorne.
March 3rd, 2017 was not a great day for Sydney foodies. On this day Sepia Restaurant, considered one of Australia’s finest dining venues, announced it is moving to Melbourne. While it has been common knowledge for over a year that the humble – but immensely talented – Martin Benn and FoH Vicki Wild intend to take the restaurant in a new direction once its Sussex St lease expires, the announcement that the institution would move to Melbourne was a pure shock to the system. Good news Melbourne, bad news Sydney. With this, my fifth visit may well be my last as it exists now. Here’s to a farewell for an influential fine dining giant in Sydney.
Melbournians, read on to get a taste of the skill that’s about to hit your city. You lucky ducks.
When I first wrote about Birregurra’s Brae Restaurant in 2015, the way I introduced Dan Hunter – the immense talent behind it all – was through observing the fact that he honed his skills at, among other places, the famed Mugaritz in the Basque Country.
In 2017, that introduction is no longer necessary. With its ascension to #44 on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, Brae has definitively cemented itself a position as one of of Australia’s best restaurants. This is world-class cooking in a town of less than 700 people folks. It’s something special.
Stepping through the ostensibly ho-hum glass doors that guard the entrance to Minamishima, you could be forgiven for holding an incredulous attitude at claims that this is Melbourne’s best sushi restaurant and indeed, rivals even the best Sydney has to offer.
Of course, despite the back-street entrance to what appears more to be an innocuous block of apartments than a restaurant, you wouldn’t turn back now. Be glad you didn’t, because Minamishima is everything they say it is, and quite possibly a bit more.
Say hi to my favourite sushi restaurant in Australia!
Date Last Visited: 21/1/2017 (4 visits to date)
Address: 4 Lord St, Richmond VIC 3121
Highlight courses: aburi flounder, ootoro nigiri, anago nigiri, sakura ice cream & adzuki yokan
Tracing its roots back to 2015, Cuckoo Callay’s annual bacon festival has truly become a mainstay of the Newtown cafe, as well as for the suburb’s cafe scene in general. While perhaps not quite achieving institution status as of yet, I can definitely say they’ve pulled a hat trick. An annual homage to everything porcine might seem like immoderate flagrancy, but in the end BACON IS FREAKING DELICIOUS.
Welcome to 2017’s edition of Cuckoo Callay’s Bacon Festival! (more…)