When Raymond Ang first opened Zushi in Darlinghurst back in 2005, he tells me they were the only ones doing the special inside-out rolls that are now a staple on modern Japanese menus.
Flash to today and his business, having outgrown its previous digs, is now in Surry Hills. And those rolls – including the Tiger Roll ($18) featuring tempura Queensland banana prawns – are still proving popular.
Raymond first ate the food of South Korean Head Chef Yoon Jae Lee at Yoshino, in the Kings Cross Hyatt.
In Raymond’s current favourite dish, Ika Somen ($15), chef turns calamari into piles of gossamer ribbons with julienned carrot, nori and salmon roe. Swished through dashi dipping sauce, they’re a textural adventure your mouth is unlikely to forget.
The menu offers up modern reinterpretations of Japanese dishes. Sashimi Tacos ($17) show off Huon Tasmanian salmon to good effect against delicate wasabi granita and sweetened wonton chips.
Okonomiyaki ($16) updates everyone’s favourite curling bonito-covered pancake with Balmain bugs and a honey-mustard twist to the usual Kewpie mayonnaise.
As I sip the last mouthfuls of a 2013 Trevelen Farm Dry Riesling ($43/bottle) selected from their short but reasonably priced list with the pretty Scallop Carpaccio ($18), it’s easy to see why this solid, everyday Japanese restaurant has nearly notched up its first dining decade.
2A/285A Crown Street, Surry Hills
Ph: (02) 9380 8830