A recent renovation brought Sushi Bar Surry Hills back into my field of attention.
The once poky little space has been opened out with white paint, and a stylish lit inset wall space filled with plants and other organic materials, that runs along a white banquette. Despite being someone who turns their nose up at hot food sweating away under heat lamps inside plastic bento boxes, and a bit of a stickler for freshly made sushi rolls, I was keen to give this lighter, brighter, space a second chance.
My first attempt to revisit started badly. I popped in at 11.52am on the way into work for a late start. They told me I had to come back after noon for something freshly made. I finally got a lunch break at 2.08pm and when I returned, they said I was too late. Taking on board that the only chance to get freshly made food here is between the hours of noon and two precisely, I gave them a third shot the very next day.
Chirashi sushi - just in case you're wondering - is 'scattered' sushi; a bowl of sushi rice with a mixed array of typical sushi ingredients. You eat it by taking little pieces of fish and dipping them in soy with a smear of wasabi, then alternating with mouthfuls of rice or salad. At Sushi Bar Surry Hills, the Chirashi Sushi ($14.80) is well-presented with a generous array of toppings. It's perfectly fine takeaway if you're eating al-desko, but of course it's better if you can spare the time to eat it in the restaurant.
You'll find salmon - both raw, seared and marinated - cooked prawns, raw tuna, orange tobiko (roe), inari (sweet fried tofu pockets), egg, cooked pumpkin and nicely dressed salad adorning a fair-sized portion of sushi rice. Guests who eat in this tiny restaurant are also offered water and bowls of miso soup included in the quite reasonable price.
The chirashi selection varies slightly from day to day. Despite a shaky start with this restaurant, as you can see, I've become quite a convert...
Sushi Bar Surry Hills
Shop 2, 418A Elizabeth Street, Surry Hills
Ph: (02) 9211 0800