With hot pink neon screaming “wax on, wax off” and a name like Daniel San, Karate Kid style Americanised appropriation of Japanese culture is a given. If you can get past “me love you long time” trophy plaques, replica caged chooks and goldfish in plastic bags, Benjamin Orpwood, former head chef of Toko, dishes up credible beachside izakaya (pub) grub. Being a drinking venue – and one which seats 350 at that – ordering takes place at the bar. The Miyagi Mai Tai ($18) will wash the salt off your lips with a well-spiked mix of coconut, pineapple and lime. Move on to the Well Mannered Rose ($8/glass) as you tuck into fat, deep red slices of Yellow Fin Tuna Sashimi ($18.50). Mounds of tuna and salmon tartare, Tar-Tacos ($14), are fun sharing food, let down fractionally by slightly oily deep fried gyoza crisps. Owner Fraser Short (The Morrison Bar and Oyster Room) has deep pockets, and you see the effects in the expensive robata grill. So expect the Japanese barbeque offerings to be highlights, from a trio of blackened crustaceans in Prawn Yuzu Kosho ($10.50) to nicely charred Broccoli ($8) florets on sticks. And if you need an alcohol blotter, the Porkie ($5/each) bun with honey glazed Berkshire pig and spicy cashew sauce gets the job done.
55 North Steyne, Manly
Ph: (02) 9977 6963 danielsan.com.au
Japanese, Bar, Bar Food $$$