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) beers.
Chef Hiroshi Miura is celebrated for his ability to finely cut fish.
Thinly Sliced Imperador ($26) arrives looking like a lace doily, with garnishes like momiji oroshi (grated radish with chilli) venturing beyond the ubiquitous wasabi-soy to truly celebrate the natural flavour of the gossamer fish.
Super pliable pancakes wrapped around tender Rosan Duck ($15/4) leave you wanting more.
More substantial Steamed Prawn Dumplings ($10/4) impress with the intensity of bisque-like (heads and shell) flavour.
A meatier version from the chalkboard, Crispy Deep Fried Prawn Mince with Fig ($15), proved another winner. If only all deep fried food came as beautifully balanced by broth, warm, fleshy figs and aromatic pickled ginger!
The koto music and enthusiastic welcomes ringing out from the convivial centre table encourage you to unwind. Choose an individual sake cup for your clean, dry Asabiraki Junmai Ohkarakuchi Sujin ($28/300ml), and enjoy it with Deep Fried Whole Flounder ($18).
The ever-so-lightly battered fish pieces are presented in a crunchy fried fish skeleton bowl, which transforms into a wonderful edible drinking snack.
PS. If you love Japanese cuisine as much as I do, become a member of Washoku Lovers (for free) and receive free green tea ice cream when you dine: http://www.washokulovers.com/
Shop 107, 46-50 Burton Street, Darlinghurst
Ph: (02) 9357 2240