When I mentioned to A that I had a craving for Japanese food while we were in Sydney, she did some research and decided that we should visit Sake Restaurant & Bar as it is featured on quite a few lists of the best Japanese restaurants in Sydney. After our visit, A and I definitely see why.
We didn’t have a booking on the day, so the earliest table was available at 9pm. I decided to try my luck a little earlier at 830pm, and luckily this paid off as we were seated immediately at a table near the bar area. This suited A and I perfectly, as it was a little quieter than the bustling restaurant downstairs. For a Sunday evening, Sake Restaurant & Bar still made a roaring trade, as the restaurant didn’t empty until late into the evening.
The menu consists of contemporary Japanese dishes. There are three tasting menus, all of different prices and dishes, but A and I were immediately drawn to the New Classics menu, consisting of 8 dishes for $88 per person.
It was soon after we ordered when the first dish arrived – sesame oil seared salmon sashimi with ponzu, ginger and chives. The salmon was thinly sliced and very delicate, with the ponzu, ginger and chives providing a light flavour to the salmon.
The second dish arrived soon after – spicy tuna tartare on crispy rice fingers. These little bite sized morsels were delicious.
One of my favourite Japanese dishes is beef tataki, and Sake’s version was incredible and consisted of tender, lightly seared wagyu striploin, garlic chips, snow pea sprouts and ginger soy dressing.
A and I were impressed with the crispy salt & pepper Moreton Bay bug-tails, tossed in seasoning with a side of yuzu kosho mayonnaise and anticucho chilli sauce. The mayo and chilli sauce were the perfect accompaniment.
The crispy fried tofu wakame salad on petite bouche leaf mix, radish, tomato and ginger soy dressing arrived with a bowl of miso soup for A and I. We loved the miso soup, and it was interesting to try a salad featuring seaweed.
When A saw the next item on the menu, she was interested to try the fish specified – steamed “Glacier 51” black cod with ginger and seared with smoking hot oil, spring onion, seasame chilli ponzu. “Glacier 51” is a term used to describe sustainably fished patagonian toothfish, which is seen as a delicacy in some countries. When it came out, A asked where the fish was sourced from, and our waiter confirmed that the fish was a patagonia toothfish sourced from the Antarctic sea off WA. The fish was amazing – the snow-white flesh has a clean and sweet flavour, with a denser consistency than other white fillets. It was paired perfectly with delicate flavours and this dish really showcased the amazing quality of the patagonian toothfish.
By this stage, we were nearing capacity and thought that the toothfish was going to be the highlight of our meal. We were wrong, as the final savoury dish of the evening was the highlight – master kobe confit of wagyu, served with wagyu croquettes, braised spinach and shiitake mushrooms with teriyaki and anticucho sauce. The wagyu croquettes were decadent, but the highlight of the dish was the confit of wagyu. ‘Master Kobe’ is used to describe an elite purebred Wagyu with the highest marbling. A and I have never experienced wagyu like it – it was extremely tender and flavoursome – it has taken this dish to show us the hype around Wagyu as typically we’ve experienced slightly tough and chewy wagyu. It was an amazing dish to finish on.
The perfect way to end such a lavish meal is with a simple dessert – such as a delicious nashi pear sorbet.
A and I loved our dining experience at Sake Restaurant & Bar. Not only was the food exceptional, but the service and ambience were also fantastic.