Reviewing restaurants provides me with a great reason to visit Sydney suburbs I might not get to otherwise. Today’s review is in Wentworth Point, an unusual, eight-block, medium to high-density living suburb wedged between Sydney Olympic Park and the Parramatta River on two sides.
One waterfront is natural, the other is an artificial shoreline separating Wentworth Point from Rhodes, that was previously known as Homebush Bay. With all this water frontage, such that it is, the most fun way to visit Unaya would be via the Parramatta River ferry services. With the Parramatta River already earmarked by the Shorten Labor Government as a prime candidate for their urban river renewal project restoring the natural beauty of our waterways, jumping off at Sydney Olympic Park ferry wharf is only going to get more attractive.
You’ll find Pierside Wentworth Point right across the road from the ferry wharf. Two rows of restaurants, medical and retail are joined by a covered al fresco dining area. The whole development sits on top of a hundred spaces of underground parking, that you can access for free for two-hours if you happen to come in your vehicle.
Unaya is a sunny looking space, with padded, yellow wedge of cheese chairs neatly tucked under well-spaced, round white tables.
Above your head, you can see the guts of an air conditioning monster extending its tentacles across the room, and the requisite dangling hipster bulbs.
Vertical white tiles and rows of bottles are made into wall features, with chaotic lettering stopping the place from seeming too orderly and neat.
The menu is an unusual combination of burgers and rice bowls, fusing together Western and Asian cuisine. “I developed this brand with a friend of mine who is from Japan, and we have been known each other for 15 years. At the time we were flatmates in Sydney both studying in Uni,” explains owner Steven Zhang, who is originally from China.
Zhang kicked off with a store in Kingsford that was mostly focused upon delivery, before opening additional stores in Waterloo and Wentworth Point. We get our lunch started with a spicy bowl of nicely presented Kim Chi ($3.90) and an Asahi Beer ($8.90).
From the rice bowl section of the menu, the Chicken Katsu Curry Rice Bowl ($13.90) jumps out. White rice is topped with a comforting but slightly too thick turmeric and cumin-based yellow curry, and crumbed fingers of good quality chicken. Lightly blanched broccoli florets and sweet potato chips add some crunch, while pink pickled cabbage injects some tang into this homey and honest everyday eat.
The serving size is moderate, so you can add on a Wagyu Beef Skewer ($5.90/2) without worrying about food waste. The beef is good quality, and cooked so it is juicy inside, though I reckon wagyu benefits from a blowtorch blast to finish it off with lovely caramelisation.
From the burger side of the menu, I hit up the Unaya Signature Rice Burger ($17.90) – the only burger presented without a regular burger bun. Instead you get two chewy, nori-topped rice cakes sandwiched around grilled Japanese eel, iceberg lettuce, cucumber, cream cheese and pickled carrot. It’s definitely a knife and fork job, but I liked it anyway – along with the fact that, like everything else on the Unaya menu, it’s yours for fewer than twenty bucks.
Shop 4B, Pierside
1 Burroway Road, Wentworth Point
Ph: (0420) 781 763