One of the cuisines that I haven’t really explored so much is Japanese, so when I was told that we would be going to Saké for a work celebratory lunch I was a little bit excited!
I have heard great things about this restaurant and was dying to try this place out, but because my boyfriend is allergic to shellfish (which he is absolutely gutted about) I have never had the opportunity to go.
Situated in the Rocks area of Sydney, the seven of us made our way through the restaurant door, to be greeted by the welcome coolness of the air con followed by a great aroma of delicious foods, contrasted with the constant chatter by the other diners. I was definitely hungry.
We were sat around a large round table within the main section of the large, yet busy restaurant and decided we would order a range of entrees to start to share – food is always best shared in my opinion!
To start with though, a cocktail was on the top of my lists, and there was a good range to choose from. However, as it was a 37 degree day I was opting for something fruity. I knew I was not going to be disappointed as I saw the bartender bring us our drinks. My cocktail of choice was a Pink Blossom which consisted of Choya umeshu (I had no idea what this was, but later learned it was a Japanese liqueur that was sweet and sour in taste) shaken with fresh passionfruit, strawberries & citrus, topped with cranberry juice. It was absolutely divine – even if the passionfruit bits got stuck up my straw making it a challenge to drink!
And then it was time for my Japanese cuisine lesson. Edamame was the first dish to come out and this is lightly salted soy beans in the pod. I made a bit of a scene wondering how you are meant to eat these; maybe you eat the whole thing like a mange tout, or maybe you open the pods up. Luckily for me my colleagues demonstrated that you simply grab one end and suck the beans out! ‘Easy peasy’ I thought and rather tasty too as I reached for another handful.
Other starters soon followed ranging from tantalising steamed prawn and wagyu dumplings to an array of sashimi accompanied by the fiery heat of wasabi and soy – yum! Each dish seemed to be better than the last and literally melted in your mouth. I was in food heaven.
Next we ordered a selection of main dishes from the delights of chicken teriyaki, assorted tempura and oriental squid to the delicacies of the miso-cream scallops; each dish beautifully presented, even if they were rather on the small side for the price!
We then had a selection of sushi and sashimi arrive at our table which is what I had always imagined Japanese food to be about. We were treated to Kingfish, Salmon, Tuna and Snapper nigiri sushi and sashimi. These are designed to be bite-sized, and to be eaten in one mouthful, but I seemed to struggle to get these pieces into my mouth in one go in a ladylike fashion! However, I didn’t care what I looked like, this food tasted amazing and I didn’t want to miss out, even when rice was falling all over my plate as the rolls unravelled themselves on the way to my mouth!
Half way through our meal, the guys decided they would try the saké bombs and us girls watched on as the waiter lined up the saké shots on a set of chopsticks above their glass of beer with napkins at the ready. After a countdown of 1, 2, 3 (ichi, ni, san) whilst banging the table they produced the saké bomb as the shot fell into the beer with a splash! Apparently it tasted pretty good too and much nicer than just plain old beer.
After an epic feast of tantalising treats, none of us had room for dessert – we were literally bursting at the seams, but in a good way! This had been some of the best food I have ever tried and I think it will be hard to find a Japanese restaurant that lives up to these standards.
I would highly recommend this restaurant and would definitely go back with a group of friends to sample more of the menu and maybe try out the desserts too.