When I asked for the menu describing the meal I had just finished at Kichisen, head chef Yoshimi Tanigawa politely chortled – “it’s all up here” he said, as he gently tapped his head with a single finger. A profound demonstration of Kaiseki’s core tenet, where dishes ebb and flow with the seasons, never settling, was the key message I took from this. Welcome to Kichisen – an apogee of Kaiseki and Japanese food in Kyoto.
Category Archives: Seven Caesars
Ethical eating. Sustainable agriculture. Farm to Table. Concepts with which we are all intimately familiar. This is not a fugacious trend, these concepts cannot be reduced to a set of transient hashtags. Merivale and Danielle Alvarez know this – taking two years to shape the embodiment of these values into one of the hospitality group’s biggest projects yet – Fred’s.
In Sydney, it’s quite often the case that serving great food just isn’t enough to guarantee a restaurant’s success. If you don’t already command a strong name for yourself, then it’s time to take some risks. How about a restaurant that does away with red meat entirely, focusing purely on catches from the sea? That’s Saint Peter’s game.
How do you like your buns, hun? While the rest of Sydney’s burger community never-endingly debates the pros and cons of brioche, milk and heck even ramen buns, Chase Kojima (of Sokyo fame) just threw a new carby spanner into the works with the unveiling of Gojima – say hello to Sydney’s first dedicated rice burger restaurant!
Nick Smith isn’t your everyday chef. Nobody would think to put a motorcycle workshop and a restaurant under the same roof. Most would also not expect that such a restaurant would be serving pan-Asian cuisine. That such a restaurant would call ramen its signature dish – and living up to it – was the biggest surprise of them all. Enter the Rising Sun Workshop.
Date Last Visited: 27/11/2016 (1st visit 19/11/2016)
Address: 1c Whateley Street, Newtown, Sydney, NSW
Go-to Dish: The Darkness ramen
Price Guide (approx): $15-20pp
Michelin-starred, UK celebrity chef Jason Atherton knows a thing or two about running a restaurant. Chippendale’s Kensington Street Social isn’t his 2nd, 3rd, or even 4th restaurant – no, it’s his fifteenth. With this level of experience in flipping tables, one would expect seriously tasty fare.
I’ll just out this right now with two visits under my belt: you will not want to be social with your food at Kensington Street Social.
Date Last Visited: 6/11/2016
Address: The Old Clare Hotel, 1 Kensington Street, Chippendale, Sydney
Price range: $20-$40
A restaurant calling itself Salmon & Bear should be all of two things. One: serve damn good fish. Two: have no bears on the premises.
I’m glad to say that Salmon & Bear’s Newtown outpost certainly lives up to the first criterion. I’m not 100% sure about the second, I’m still alive, so that’s comforting, right?
Date Last Visited: 25/09/2016
Address: 226 King Street, Newtown, Sydney,NSW
Go-to Dish: poké (salmon or tuna)
Price Guide (approx): $18-$30
When it comes to naming exceptional cafes in Sydney’s CBD, it would be a struggle for me to even name five venues, let alone a top five. Don’t get me wrong – excellent coffee talent is plentiful, but cafes that serve great food as well? A demand where supply is dearly lacking. Are us suits really so busy that we can’t sit down and have some properly delicious food while on lunch break?
I sure hope not, because the folks from Paramount Coffee Project and Reuben Hills finally bring us the gift of Hills Bros – a cafe in the heart of Martin Place that does as much justice to food as it does to the coffee bean.
Date Last Visited: 6/09/2016
Address: 5 Martin Place, CBD, Sydney, NSW
Go-to Dish: brown rice congee
Price Guide (approx): $10-20
Guillaume Brahimi is a French giant in Sydney – both in real life, and in his eponymous restaurant which, for many years, has been a French institution at the Sydney Opera House. They say that you can’t miss what you’ve never had – I beg to differ.
See, I never got the chance to visit “Sydney’s best French restaurant” during its stint at our most famous landmark. The chance escaped me – Guillaume at the Opera House closed its doors in 2013. I missed out on what surely must have been wonderful food, set in an iconic location and complemented by world-class service. I missed what I never had – until now.
Date Last Visited: 30/07/2016
Address: 92 Hargrave Street, Paddington, Sydney, NSW
You could say that Michael Phelps has won a “decent amount” of gold medals in his Olympic career. You could say I’ve eaten a decent amount of sushi in my lifetime. Guess which of the aforementioned two sentences is the bigger understatement? It’s safe to say that if the consumption of sushi was banned in Sydney, I would be packing my bags tomorrow.
Fortunately, Sydney’s Japanese scene is once again bolstered by a hidden gem of a Japanese restaurant in the Lower North Shore that has – despite all odds – escaped my radar. Say hello to Crows Nest’s Hana Ju-Rin!
Date Last Visited: 5/8/2016
Address: 300 Pacific Highway,Crows Nest, Sydney, NSW