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
Bistro Bruno is one of those rare neighborhood gems that has been a favourite of Balmain locals for a long time.
It’s ‘modern Australian’ food, more the European end of this concept than the fusion end. A good place for people with relatively conservative palates and fatter wallets – entrees come in just under $20 and mains hover around $30. It’s also quite meat and seafood heavy. Despite all the above this was quite a fantastic meal.
The bread was freshly baked and still toasty warm, nicely sweet yeasted bread with nuts – pleasant almost cakey texture.
Salad of medley tomatoes, beetroot, kale pesto & crumbed bocconcini ($17)
This was pretty good, the kale pesto and fried bocconcini were the standouts with some decent fresh tomato and roasted beetroot. Nothing revolutionary, but tasty.
Potato Gnocchi, cauliflower & parmesan puree, florets, pinenuts & raisins ($16.5/$26.5)
These were the BEST gnocchi I have ever had in my life. And I lived in Rome. Tender little pillows with a dense taste of nutmeg and butter, served with caramelised cauliflower and pine nuts on a cheesy puree.
Side dishes are my way to get decent amounts of vegetables in a meal. Even eating mainly vegetarian restaurants can tend to leave me craving more vegies (7 serves a day y’all!).
Steamed green vegetables, toasted almonds, preserved lemon ($8) was a nice burst of fresh crunchy greens.
Radicchio, walnut, pear & quince salad, blue cheese dressing ($8) was also rather good, though the presentation with the whole leaves like this made it tricky to eat daintily..
Finally I had Orange & Cinnamon Brulee, pistachio biscotti ($14.5) which was good, though rather steeply priced. The custard had a nice orange flavour but was relatively restrained. Next time I would order the clafoutis instead, it came in its own little pan and with icecream.
The boy ordered this lovely Kingpin Red Ale – which was absolutely delicious.
3 Beattie Street
02 9810 7707
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.