Sydney has undergone a quiet Japanese revolution. Sushi trains have made way for izakayas, Japanese-style pubs where food accompanies drinking.
Slick kushiyaki bars have appeared; and regional Japanese cuisine has landed.
This spot celebrates the dishes of Japan’s second largest city, Osaka, famous for inexpensive street food.
It’s the birthplace of Takoyaki ($8.50/8), and the gooey-centred offerings here are the bomb. Just keep your on-tap Suntory Premium Malt ($8.50) handy; they’re served piping hot.
You also need to try their pressed, rectangular oshizushi. This Osaka specialty is made using cooked fishes and a less-vinegary rice mix. The BBQ Eel ($18.50) version stuffed with shitake mushrooms then topped with cucumber, egg and chives, proved excellent, and much easier to handle with chopsticks.
Konamomo – flour-based dishes – including tasty Ika-yaki ($8.50) squid pancakes, are also popular with the people of Osaka.
Alongside golden-crumbed deep-fried stuff on sticks – kushikatsu – from moist Zucchini ($1.50) to Potato Croquettes ($2.50), they make excellent drinking snacks.
In that regard you’ll find plentiful sakes, including Uragasumi Junmai ($29/720ml), and...
...Japanese whiskies like the fabulously smooth Nikka from the Barrel ($21/glass).
Balance bar bites with Hokkaido Pumpkin and Prosciutto Salad ($8).
Chef Kazu Nakatani is renowned for his saucing (different with every dish) so his special steak-sauce with Grilled Wagyu ($10.50) is your final must-try.
PS. If you love Japanese cuisine as much as I do, become a member of Washoku Lovers (for free) and receive two free takoyaki when you dine: http://www.washokulovers.com/
Shop 15, Llankelly Place, 24-30 Springfield Avenue, Potts Point
Ph: (02) 8970 1143