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.
Tag Archives: Japanese
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.
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
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 😉
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.
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
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
When one is on the everlasting quest for great food, one goes to great lengths to consummate the experience that bestows on us food euphoria on a higher plane. But in doing so, one may sometimes forget that there is excellence everywhere around us. LuMi Bar & Dining is, quite simply, one of the worst-kept secrets in Sydney. In the two years since it opened this Japanese-Italian lightbox, perched at the tip of Pyrmont harbour, raked in awards so fast the yachts & speedboats in the habour seemed positively slothful.
You don’t even have to click into this post to infer that I’m going to wax lyrical about the place – if it’s between reading this piece and making a booking right now, I think you know where my recommendation lies. But for those with a bit more curious? Read on to find out why I think this may just be one of my favourite Sydney restaurants in 2016.
Date Last Visited: 17/09/2016
Address: Wharf 10, 56 Pirrama Rd Pyrmont, NSW 2009
Go-to dish: parmesan chawanmushi
Price Guide (approx): $115 for 8-courses