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
The gorgeous Berta on Alberta Street in Sydney city has regular ‘Sagra dinners’ on Wednesday nights.
Wikipedia says that a sagra is a local festival, very often involving food (it is an Italian tradition after all). It goes on:
A sagra is often dedicated to some specific local food, and the name of the sagra includes that food; the array of gastronomic specialties covered across Italy is amazing: for example, we find a Festival delle Sagre astigiane, a Sagra della Rana (frog) at Casteldilago near Arrone, a Sagra della Cipolla (onion) at Cannara, a Sagra della Melanzana ripiena (stuffed eggplant) at Savona, a Sagra della Polenta at Perticara di Novafeltria, and so on. Among the most common sagre are those celebrating olive oil, wine, pasta and pastry of various kinds, chestnuts, and cheese.
BRB, adding those all to my to do list.
Anyway, the Berta Sagra dinners follow this formula, 4 courses for $55 all based around and featuring the theme ingredient. Four courses ends up normally being about 7 or 8 dishes, so it’s a bit Iron Chef <Ingredient>. The farmer who sells them the ingredient is often on hand to give you a little lecture about the produce too. There are also matching wines for an extra $30.
The most recent Sagra I went to was of my beloved brassica leaves – species including broccoli, cabbages and brussels sprouts and kale. All the most delicious things!
It’s super dark in there so had to pinch some of the pics from Berta’s facebook page.
crispy cavolo nero fennel salt – like the best kale crisps you ever had.
coronet cabbage roll mushrooms chinese cabbage – this dish was the standout. Something so simple and yet just exploding with flavour (and butter), the silky cabbage with its slight char was magnificent.
Side of brassica leaves to go with your brassica leaves? Yes. Too much is never enough.
crispy polenta parmesan broth buratta quail egg kale – every single one of those words is a poem. Would eat this ten times over.
minestra risoni horseradish red elk – this little soup with parmesan and textures of cooked kale and rawer red elk lettuce was lovely.
spiced granny smiths fritole mascarpone gelato – classic red cabbage and spiced apple. This reminds me of the stewed red cabbage and apple I had in Belgium as a child. Something so perfect about the flavour combination, and love it as a dessert.
Upcoming Sagra are on their website here.
The Queen Victoria markets always make me want to move to Melbourne. We have great places in Sydney but this place really has it all, and for cheap!
My love affair is mainly with the vegetables – some of which (hello Romanesco broccoli) you can never get in Sydney.
Enormous celeriac, enough Remoulade for a party..
Three kinds of locally grown eschallots – the red ones on the right hand side were particularly lovely.
Giant tower of low salt Italian anchovies looking mighty odd.
Gerookde paling! Love it. Finally I can get some smoked eel in Sydney – the BF will be thrilled..
It’s walking distance from anywhere in town. Grab some cheese and bread and vegies and fruit and some local wine and you have a perfect picnic.
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.