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?
Category Archives: Six Caesars
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.
“Fine dining, without the pretension” – that’s the philosophy of Bouche on Bridge. A focus on produce, core ingredients, and exceptional cooking without overt complications round out the package. Head chef Harry Stockdale-Powell’s ostensibly got the chops for it too – having worked at both Marque and Rockpool. Looks like it’s time to head back to Bridge St for something that isn’t Eleven Bridge and see what “no fuss fine dining” is all about.
Date Last Visited: 23/11/2016 (1st visit 29/10/2016)
Address: 6 Bridge St, Sydney NSW 2000
Go-to Dish: eschallot tarte tartin (if you like onions a lot)
Price Guide (approx): $80-$100pp plus drinks
Last year, a meal at Automata counted as one of my favourite restaurant experiences. That it gained two chef’s hats in the 2016 Good Food Guide Awards, along with ex-Momofuku’s Clayton Wells lauded as Time Out’s chef of the year was, to my mind, no brainer. As was usually the case, I felt that it had been far too long in between visits, and so made a return visit almost exactly one year down the track. However, it was with a deep melancholy when, on that second visit, I discovered that while fragments of the experience were the same, I was not eating at Automata.
It’s almost as if it’s become something else entirely.
Date Last Visited: 24/09/2016
Address: 5 Kensington St,Chippendale, Sydney, NSW
Highlight Dish(es): steamed hapuka, roasted quail
The burgers have won, fine dining is dead. Or at least, that’s the direction the smoke seems to be blowing when owner Kerby Craig decided to close down his semi fine-diner Ume Restaurant, reopening it as Bar Ume. Gone are the delicately plated works of art almost too pretty to eat. Instead, it’s burgers, burgers, and burgers. Well that, some sides, and some drinks.
Say hello to Surry Hills’ newest izakaya – headed by a hatted chef, no less!
Date Last Visited: 18/09/2016
Address: 478 Bourke St, Surry Hills NSW 2010
Go-to Dish: Ume Burger
Price Guide (approx): $20-$30 before drinks
Dan Hong and Paul Donnelly are constantly on a mission to break the mould. You know they’ve succeeded when you can’t encapsulate the kind of food that comes out of the kitchen at Ms.G’s. Asian? Well yes, but that’s broad. Vietnamese? Getting closer, for sure. But go to Vietnam and try and find me a banh mi burger or cheeseburger spring rolls.
The food at Ms.G’s isn’t that normal after all, is it? I first visited three years ago, and at the time decided that it’s one of those restaurants that are well-worth a return. I just didn’t expect it to take three years to get there. Well, here we are!
Date Last Visited: 24/2/2016
Address: 155 Victoria Street Potts Point, NSW
Recommended Dish(es): mini banh mi, sweet & sour ribs; The BOSS
When chef Zacharay Tan of Devon Cafe & Devon on Danks fame announces that he’s opening up yet another venture amongst the milieu of Sydney’s cafes, even the laziest Suzies among us – particularly a walrus such as I, will come to attention. You see, despite Sydney’s propensity to go over the top for just about anything these days, there is still clearly ample room for talented individuals to leave their mark.
In this case, we’re talking about scorching wok marks, and perhaps a case of purple tongue.
Welcome to Lazy Suzie, a hawker food centre-cum-in vogue cafe, smack bang in Darlinghurst’s hub of what’s what to eat. Don’t expect to find avocado on toast here – you’ve been warned.
Date Last Visited: 17/4/2016
Address: 78 Stanley Street,Darlinghurst, Sydney
Recommended Dish(es): Auntie Jenny’s roti, Pie Tee, CKT (if you can swallow the price), the ABC
At first, it may seem somewhat eyebrow-raising that a Surry Hills restaurant called Butter would pair all things fried chicken (and uh, butter) with selling sneakers. However, after much thought, I arrived at an unavoidably delicious truth:
You’re going to need those sneakers for a marathon after an experience at Butter Surry Hills. Heh.
Date Last Visited: 20/2/2016
Address: 6 Hunt Street, Sydney
Recommended Dish(es): something involving fried chicken
In the culture of whacky Nippon, a salaryman (サラリーマン) is a man who is literally on salaried employment, usually referring to a corporate white collar archetype. However a salaryman is truly defined by what he does after work. That is – to eat, to drink, and to be merry (hey, he’s had a 14-hour day – gotta take a break, right?)
Fortunately, you don’t need to work a 14-hour day to partake in an experience at Stephen Seckold’s newly-opened Salaryman Restaurant. I mean, sure, the experience is potentially more realistic if you suffered such a day, but what’s life without a bit of cheating?
Date Last Visited: 29/12/2015
Address: 52 Albion Street, Surry Hills, Sydney
Recommended Dish(es): prawn toast okonomiyaki, rolled wagyu sirloin, Smoove chocolate bar
The only way you’re ever going to get me to learn geography is through food. That’s how I went cooing for Cooh Cafe – originally from the suburb of Curl Curl. The heck? I suppose as a resident of Sydney’s South, it’s just a little bit out of reach for me, just like 20kg bicep curls.
My horrid experiences with weight training aside, Cooh is a cafe that’s anything but. And even better, you don’t even have to make the trek to Curl Curl any more – because these guys have recently moved to a newly renovated warehouse location in Alexandria, dishing up a variety of fare that you won’t readily find in every corner cafe down every other street. Cooh’s got its own spin on things, and it’s worth a shot!
Date Last Visited: 8/11/15
Address: 90-96 Bourke Road,Alexandria, Sydney
Recommended Dish(es): tuna steak burger, Moroccan lamb salad, vegan gelato