Chef Chun Man Lau (Rio) makes a powerful case for fusion at this new Surry Hills sushi train, using methods he honed endearing Yukiguni to Cabramatta’s diverse locals. "We have to use the local ingredients - local fish or local ingredients - to make something new," says Rio.
Lit up cherry blossom trees and vibrant washes of colour turned the 100-year old Woolloomooloo Wharf into a magical fairyland for the launch party of Ovolo Woolloomooloo last week. Alongside celebrity guests like Marcia and Deni Hines, and Jessica Mauboy, I wove my way through the clever interiors that have transformed the cavernous warehouse style-space into something surprisingly intimate, all without losing sight of those soaring ceiling heights.
The words ‘sushi train’ don’t always fill me with the greatest of confidence. Too often I’ve been burned with boring, lack-lustre offerings. The first clue that this Newtown stalwart (opened in 2004) is different, is a glass cabinet featuring beautiful batons of sashimi-grade fish.
The Powder Keg has so far been my favourite bar of the last twelve months, mostly for the cooking of Elijah Holland. His foraging for edible flowers and beach plants even prompted René Redzepi to meet with him on his recent trip to Australia.
On Tuesday 20 October, the Pyrmont Ultimo Chamber of Commerce held their third Seafood Spectacular to launch Where the Locals Go—a guide promoting the best of the Pyrmont Ultimo precinct.
Diving into an established all-male Italian kitchen as the new head chef could be daunting (especially as a half-English, half-Welsh woman) but Naomi Lowry has taken it in her stride. She’s maintained the menu’s confident Southern Italian focus, notching it up with Sardinian Fregola ($27/$35) resplendent with perfectly cooked cuttlefish, calamari, prawns and mussels, and topped with a generous helping of bottarga.
Hotel restaurants are curious beasts; and while Abode has been cleverly located as a stylish, stand-alone restaurant, it is still very much part of the Parkroyal Darling Harbour. As you’d expect, the restaurant fulfils a role in providing accessible, comforting and familiar food to overnight stayers.
If meals at most fine dining restaurants seem too expensive, I’ve found the fancy, white-tablecloth restaurant for you! William Blue Dining is located in the old Rockpool site, yet despite the fancy, heritage, sandstone location, a three-course meal is yours for fewer than forty bucks.
Chef Kumar Mahadevan uses beautiful mandarin skin and fruit in his Salmon Kothmiri Tikki. The bold, acidic sauce also employs spicy tamarind but somehow leaves a hole big enough to taste the gently cooked (sous-vide) fish. It’s but one masterpiece presented at a series of 25th Anniversary Dinners held last month at Abhi’s in North Strathfield.
Busshari staff are particularly proud of their Soft Shell Crab Karaage ($18) making it into the Daily Telegraph’s list of the top hundred Sydney dishes last year. For good reason, too, it’s dry and intensely savoury. It’s perfect against Kubota Manju ($33/180ml); dubbed ‘10,000 Ostentatiousness’ it’s the star of their impressive sake list.