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Food News – Xmas Books

Yes, beer matching is a thing. Beer Bites [RRP $45] by Christian DeBenedetti and Andrea Slonecker is pitched at the home beer enthusiast, with plenty of beer consumption tips. Trust me when I say: you won’t ask for a pub-chilled schooner glass after reading this book.

Mamasan

Scratch beneath the hipster veneer and many venues come up lacking. Underlying kooky décor that includes a glowing sakura ceiling in the upper bar, and erotic shibari prints, Edison bulbs in birdcages and dangling autumnal leaves downstairs, is both clever architecture (courtesy of FJMT who did neighbouring Surry Hills Library) and a raison d’etre.

Geisha Haus

Handsome bartenders spent a lot of time at my table, muddling, freezing and whirling smoke through a range of bespoke Japanese-inspired cocktails, when I imbibed, early in the piece, with three food media pals. Frozen using liquid nitrogen, into a pretty pink slushy, Kawaii Kisses ($19) with watermelon, T2 Just Rose tea, Belvedere vodka and sake, could well become the taste of Sydney summer.

Bar Fly: Goros

A woman walks into a bar, and two minutes later, she’s got her favourite Japanese beer in a can – Yona Yona Pale Ale ($11) - in hand, watching B-grade film clips, while casually eyeing off a diverse crowd venturing behind back-lit rice paper screens.

ACME

Last week I took some time out of my busy weekend to check out the much-lauded ACME. And yes, while the Macaroni, Pig’s Head, Egg Yolk ($18) is undeniably delicious, you might be left wondering: where’s the rest of it?

Busshari

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.

Mappen Bondi Junction

A DIY noodle bar where you self-serve your fresh crispy tempura and toppings, sauces and water, it’s got the bustle of a traditional Tokyo style diner, but the with the warmth of Sydney hospitality.

Osaka Bar

Sydney has undergone a quiet Japanese revolution. Sushi trains have made way for izakayas, Japanese-style pubs where food accompanies drinking. Slick kushiyaki bars have appeared; and regional Japanese cuisine has landed.

Rosan

Enter the world of the Japanese salaryman at this intriguing traditional Japanese restaurant tucked into downtown Darlinghurst. The central table puts Australian communal table behaviour to shame - unrelated guests exchange meishi (business cards) and trade places to network over their Suntory Premium Malt ($11).

Yayoi

“If you have any questions, hit the call staff button – that’s like a dog whistle for me,” my affable waitress jokes as she leaves me to my own devices with a printed and an iPad menu.