While Sydney is still waiting for Gladys Berejiklian's over-time and over-budget light rail to be completed, Devonshire Street is finally looking less like a disaster zone, and more like somewhere you might actually like to go to lunch. One of the first new entries into the vacant shop fronts - casualties of the endless construction - is Sushi-Mori.
In one of life’s little ironies, you’ll find it located next-door to a Japanese victim of the light rail construction, Eodoya. Pushing through the waving white flags (noren) you'll find a petite but nicely decorated lunch spot.
Charcoal walls are broken up with wooden detailing, paper screens and a colourful take on The Great Wave off Kanagawa
(arguably Japan's most iconic artwork) where you'll see the snowy peak of Mount Fuji rising in the background.
Blonde wood tables and stiff schoolroom style chairs populate most of the tiny restaurant’s footprint.
You’ll find most of your usual Japanese favourites on the menu, which does contain a few words that might not be instantly familiar. Hosomaki, for example, are thin sushi rolls, presented with the nori (seaweed) on the outside and usually just one filling; while futomaki are literally ‘fat-rolled sushi’. I found the Ocean Futomaki ($17.80) stuffed with raw salmon, tempura prawn, crab stick and avocado, a bit big for one-bite.
Generously dusted with bright orange tobiko, and presented with a mild wasabi and pickled ginger, this eight-piece plate proved to be quite a substantial lunch.
Wasabi, soy and pickled ginger would have been a nice addition to the Seafood Salad ($15.80). The well-proportioned salad was kept wet and juicy with matchsticks of daikon radish and fans of thinly sliced cucumber. Topping the lightly dressed green leaves you’ll find tobiko, grated carrot, and sashimi offcuts from a number of different fishes. There are also crab stick rounds and cooked prawns, adding up to a pleasant, if mildly-flavoured lunch.
Slippery wheat noodles are kept as the focus of the Prawn Tempura Udon ($15.80) with a softly-flavoured broth made from dashi, soy sauce, and mirin.
Topped with eye-catching pink and white naruto, shallots and seaweed, and accompanied by two thin tempura prawns encased in a slightly dense batter, it’d make a decent winter warmer as the weather continues to cool.
Here’s hoping the advent of Sushi-Mori marks the start of Devonshire Street being returned to a pleasant and popular dining destination.
Shop 1/ 99 Devonshire Street, Surry Hills
Ph: (0404) 044 412