Definitely missed to boat on this place. It’s been around for ages but I only spotted it recently – it’s on a bit of Sussex Street I just don’t walk down generally – but glad I finally did.
I wanted the bento which at $14.90 and with tons of sides looked great, but sadly they were sold out. Instead got some Japanese spaghetti and a couple of smaller dishes to share.
The agedashi tofu was wonderful, three giant pieces with lots of great sauce and crispy coating.
My dad went wild for these gyoza – not often you get vegetarian gyoza in Sydney so I was happy and the super crunchy outsides were really wonderful.
Another day another onigiri. Gave in to another Japanese lunchtime craving & hit up Hunter Connection for a salmon don and some onigiri. Freshly cooked, super generous serve of fish and perfect fluffy sweet white rice.
Pretty great value too – salmon don and miso for $9.80, onigiri $2.50 and a can of unsweetened green tea for $1.50z
I wanted to go to Ippudo for a while, but it often takes longer to get to that place that always has lines out the front – you have to have enough time for the meal *and* for the queuing.
We finally made it to Ippudo after a morning yoga class in our gym just around the corner (Virgin Active) and were pleased to be inside within about 5 minutes. It’s a lovely dark glossy space, pretty loud but not too oppressive.
The fluffy buns with crispy prawns were wonderful. So often these kind of bao are meat options only and us little pescetarians or vegos miss out – this was a wonderful exception. I would eat these EVERY DAY if I could.
IPPUDO SHRIMP BUN $5 一風堂シュリンプバン Steamed bun with deep fried shrimp and IPPUDO original sauce.
If you have a pickled cucumber on your menu I will order it. I love the freshness.
GOMA Q $7 胡麻きゅうり Japanese cucumber with sesame sauce.
And then the piece de resistance – the vegetarian ramen. This was one of the weirdest things I have ever eaten – ramen with cornflakes and yoghurt and nuts and fruit and salad and more. It was surprisingly delicious even if I made little noises of surprise after every bite.
I am immensely sad to say that this does not appear to be on their menu any more. Major sad face.
My boy got the more traditional ramen and made many happy noises while slurping it. Ippudo has quite a selection of noodle thicknesses and their noodles are a bit more al dente than the usual ramen shop offerings.
I had a tiny slurp of the broth and it was everything it should be – thick and salty, though too porky for me.
HIROMARU TAMAGO $17 白丸玉子 Shiromaru with flavoured egg
I have had Izakaya Fujiyama on my to-eat list FOREVER. Ok, well at least for a few years since it opened. I love the move towards izakayas in Australia and the new Japanese offerings they are bringing to us. Safe to say we were not disappointed and that this might be one of my favourite new places in Sydney.
Sharing restaurants are tricky, so much depends on who you are with and what they like to eat. On this occasion my law school buddies and I matched well – mainly vego but happy to nibble some sustainable fish. You could definitely go all vego here and be happy though.
Super cute place on the still hot Waterloo Street in Surry Hills. Apparently the place next door is terrible though, so don’t go there!
Mmmm tsukemono – pickles are my favourite and these were very good, clearly done in house.
Then tried the trick of ordering the tamagoyaki, according to this book I read this is the way to tell if you have a good sushi chef. It was delicious so I guess IF passed that one!
Then the Japanese fried potato (deep fried spiced taro $6). I had no idea what these were going to look like when they came to the table – had clearly been dusted with Shichimi tōgarashi. Very interesting texture, somehow a bit more gelatinous than expected, but super tasty.
Then the vego staple Agedashi tofu (Deep fried tofu, braised shitake mushrooms with okra $13.50). My dining companions remarked that okra was now the new ‘thing’ as it is on every menu everywhere. Either way – yum!
Another vego staple in the vegetable tempura (Assorted tempura vegetables $15) – this was good but being all winter vegetables was not my favourite ever. I do like that it’s seasonal though.
Then the delicious mackerel (Grilled mackerel tossed with grated daikon and soy $13.5)- my favourite fish and one that is generally considered pretty sustainable (depends on species though).
We almost didn’t get dessert, I now understand what a mistake this would have been. Behold the FUJIYAMA Snickers (‘Get some Nuts’ Peanut butter cake, chocolate custard, Salted caramel ice-cream and peanuts $13.50). The only thing wrong with this was that I had to share.
Takes bookings for Monday to Wednesday only
Shop G09, 38-52 Waterloo Street
Surry Hills NSW 2010
02 9698 2797
Easily my favourite cafe in Melbourne is the wonderful mina no ie in Collingwood.
This Japanese inspired place is sister of the also gorgeous Cibi in Collingwood. Cibi also sells homewares but mina is just a really simple, gorgeously sunny place with an open kitchen.
Their sencha tea is lovely, but Bonsoy flat white was impossible to pass up. Fabulous coffee.
Their baked eggs with sweet miso and eggplant and pumpkin and provolone are the stuff of dreams. Sweet and creamy and salty. Possibly the best breakfast in the world.
Lunch menu starts at 11:30 am.
mina no ie
33 Peel Street
Japanese rice balls – onigiri – are my favourite snack in the whole world. If it was up to me all those places doing sushi rolls would be forced to also sell onigiri. They feature heavily in Japanese TV and movies – Cutie Honey refuels her powers using them, and Tadokoro Sachiko in Boss eats them almost every episode. In the Tokyo Marathon not only was the most popular costume with the crowd the onigiri hat (with swathes of people chanting o-ni-gi-ri! as he ran past) but some people also gave out salty onigiri as fuel on the course.
Fresh and sticky with no need for soy sauce they can be wrapped with crunchy seaweed, or nothing at all. Some are filled, but my favourites have just some flavouring mixed through, either shiso or japanese purple basil or shiitake mushrooms are all good.
In Sydney so far I have two go to places. Love to hear about any others!
The Japanese Konbini behind Woolworths at Town Hall – homemade and nicely salty. Only a small amount available every day. Flavour here is Japanese purple basil. Around $2 depending on filling.
Middle level of Hunter Connection – Ooh, Rice! Lots of choice of fillings, crunchy nori – Japanese basil flavour again (but tried shiitake too which was delicious) $2.50 each.
We discovered Tany’s by accident when a bit tipsy leaving an art event at 107 Projects and in search of a snackeroo.
We will return. The food was fantastic – great quality & some excursions from Sydney’s standard Japanese menu. The staff were lovely too, tried out my very basic Japanese on them and we got on like a house on fire.
We had sesame spinach, okonomiyaki (on sticks!), avocado roll, agedashi tofu, miso eggplant, tempura asparagus, croquettes and mussels plus miso soup.
Tany’s Japanese Cafe
92 Redfern St, Redfern NSW
Cost – around $25 per person.