Monday, May 28, 2012

RESTAURANT: Sake Restaurant and Bar

I'll come right out with it: the main reason I've wanted to come to Sake is because of the sashimi tacos on the menu. Everything else looks fairly "modern Japanese" and not entirely unique. Not that that's a bad thing, it just means there's competition with other modern Japanese places as to where my disposable income goes.

I think it was the sake list that tipped me towards this place. It's a strong list, with plenty of options at different sizes. Plenty of sake with plenty of sashimi is usually a recipe for a good meal.

And what of the sashimi tacos? You get two per serve--one tuna, one salmon--and a side shot of sake. They're tiny to the point that you can easily eat them in one bite, and moreish to the point that I could easily (and happily) eat 50 of them. Of course, other things need to be ordered.

Beef tataki is a fairly classic dish, twisted slightly here with some tomatoes and garlic chips going with the seared, thinly sliced beef. It's a solid interpretation.

The sashimi combo brings 18 pieces of said sashimi, with your obvious offerings like tuna, salmon and kingfish, as well as some more seasonal fish. It's fresh, good quality and very tasty. Maybe not the best in Sydney, but still very good.

Chicken nanban is surprisingly excellent. The juicy, twice-fried pieces of chicken are cooled and paired with a bonito broth sauce and earthy chillis.

Sake seems to have been adopted as the model and celebrity restaurant of choice, probably due to the painfully attractive staff and the extreme levels of cool that the place (and the design) give off. But that's not to say it's pretentious.

A good example of the approachability is the kushiyaki offerings. I'd find it fairly unlikely to see a model stick a chunk of tender pork belly in her gob, but for someone like me it's bliss.

As good as it is, it's probably outdone by the excellent tuna ceviche. Big slices of delicious tuna, sharp dressing and a great balance of flavour. It all combines to make for a dish you want to eat a lot of.

They also have a fairly large selection of hand rolls. For those wanting some carbs in their life (which is foolish; you're robbing yourself of previous sashimi-based protein), you shouldn't be too disappointed with the spicy tuna dynamite roll. The stupidly named "S express" is nice, but doesn't blow me away.

The whole time the sake is flowing (the sake are fairly knowledgeable on the subject) and life is good. The earlier sittings generally seem to have 2 hour seating limits, but that should be plenty of time to get in, smash some fish and sake and head out.

I wouldn't put it up as Sydney's best modern Japanese or best sushi/sashimi but it's not far off. Where this place shines is in the vibe: it's coolness is a commodity and even if you don't give a shit about things like that you know you can put it aside as a place to impress people/muses/lovers and get a smashing meal at the same time.

RATING: Will return to [?]

Saké Restaurant & Bar on Urbanspoon

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