David Yip’s enthusiasm for what could broadly be termed stunt food is palpable. An ideas man, David is constantly devising new ways to make his dishes and cocktails fun. This is basically how I ended up with a rotating, dry ice billowing, Matcha Wheel ONE Tea Experience ($50/8 people) dominating my table for two. Not that I mind a bit of spectacle, which is lucky because it was rapidly followed by a dramatic at the table glass cloche reveal of tea-smoked Gyokuro Smoked Octopus Avocado ($15), an intensely smoky cold dish. Then, as we worked our way through our eight flower-accentuated cocktail cups (and teapot of refills), more smoky wisps of dry ice curled around our fingers, this time from under a pretty verrine of Salmon Tartare ($13). By contrast, sambal-dipped Lollipop Corn ($12) seemed almost sedate, luring us into a false sense of security before our 300 degree Lava Stone Grill ($58/180g) landed with cubes of top-notch 9+ wagyu beef ready to sizzle and dip in yakiniku (BBQ) sauce and matcha salt. Yes, Japanese green tea pops up everywhere, though its best expression is in the Matcha Lava Bomb ($20) dessert. After the requisite at the table flaming (with orange liqueur) it literally had me scraping oozing matcha white chocolate pudding and miso caramel from the plate.
ONE Tea Lounge & Grill
73 York Street, Sydney
Ph: (02) 9279 3311 onetealounge.com.au
Japanese, Cocktails $$$$