Japanese Cuisine is probably the category that pops up the most on my blog and so you can imagine how much I love Japanese food. For those of you who are on the same wavelength as me, I hope you have tried Sake because it reaches new levels of ah-mazingg! Delicious food, beautiful presentation, a fabulous atmosphere matched with impeccable service - you've got yourself a winner. These factors tick all my boxes for the ideal dining setting and so Sake, you have officially entered the favourites list.
Location wise, Sake is at The Rocks near the Argyle, situated alongside fellow restaurants The Cut Bar & Grill and The Ananas. If you're taking the train, it's roughly a 10 minute walk from Circular Quay Station. (Excuse the water drops - it was raining the night we went)
Upon arrival we are directed to the bar stool tables overlooking the open kitchen - we are informed that this is actually the best seat in the house because you get to see all the chefs live in action. We don't realise how true this is until the night progresses.
It truly was fun looking at how the chefs work in the way they piece their culinary masterpieces together. What surprised me the most was how relaxed the atmosphere was in the kitchen - no chaos, no breaking of plates, no yelling. Pure calm. M & I watched closely as each chef worked on their designated dishes, particularly intrigued by the sushi and sashimi chefs in all their intricacy and attention to detail.
To start off, we try the Sashimi Tacos ($18) which are the cutest things alive, served on a plate. Ultra crispy baby tacos shells filled with tuna sashimi and diced salmon topped with some tangy chilled tomato salsa. With a spritz of lemon, these bite-size goodies are the perfect appetisers, especially when you finish off with the sake shots. Just a heads up though - although the sashimi tacos were fantastic and super delicious, they are also uber tiny and sort of pricey. So if you're going with a big group, just note that its $18 for two...you do the maths.
Next up was one of my favourite dishes of the night - Silver Cod Lettuce Cups ($20). Cod is one of my absolute weaknesses so whenever I see it on a menu, I leap for it. I leap hard.
The grilled miso marinated cod sits neatly on top of what I would describe as, the prettiest lettuce cups I've seen in my life. As you pop one in your mouth, you go through the phase of mouthing "oooo...omggggg", forgoing all forms of elegant dining etiquette in favour of truly appreciating the moment - that is, embracing the cod in all its perfect balance of crunchy vs. soft textures and the beautiful mix of sweet and savoury flavours. Gold.
The Popcorn Shrimp ($29) consisted of bite size prawn tempura pieces tossed in a unique creamy spicy sauce. The proportion size was great and the bite-size shrimps were very fresh and meaty - fried with a thin batter and lightly seasoned. It probably would have been better if it was a bit more flavoured but either way, not bad.
When it comes to Japanese restaurants, M & I are accustomed to always trying out the beef. At Sake, the Wagyu Teriyaki ($39) consists of grainfed wagyu, cooked medium rare and served on sauteed shitake and buckwheat with yakiniku sauce. The beef was deliriously juicy tender with sweet scents from the sauce. It was very flavoursome on the whole and so we had ordered one bowl of rice to balance things out - and to fill us up more :P
My second favourite dish for the night was the S Express Maki Roll ($23). It was one of the most unique sushi rolls I've ever tasted because the rice was unbelievably soft, causing each bite to almost "melt" within your mouth in all its glory. The roll consists of a heavenly concoction of seared salmon, scallops, cucumber, spicy mayo, witlof and sweet sauce - if you're a fan of aburi sushi, this is the order for you. Fresh and tasty, I loved it!
Presentation also deserves 2 thumbs up!
Finally, how could we leave without dessert?
The Green Tea Kit Kat ($14) reached new heights for being crazy good. A slice of valrhona milk chocolate crunch with a filling of white chocolate mousse, green tea ganache and chocolate wafer - this dessert was DIVINE. Officially skyrocketed to my top 3 favourite desserts of ALL TIME. Oh and did I mention it comes with earl grey ice cream and cherry jelly? Almost too good to be true.
The "kit kat" was moist and soft to break into - make sure you eat it with the earl grey ice cream so to balance out the sweetness for the ultimate bliss attack in your mouth. Just looking at the photo right now has got me salivating...
Additionally, I loved the decor for Sake - they did a great job in mixing traditional Japanese elements amongst a modern space. This feature wall looked amazing!
Lighting is quite dim and it showcases a warm ambience amongst the brown wooden furniture.
Oh and definitely try to score a barstool table if its a small party of 2 - eating all the delicious food was awesome but part of the great experience was witnessing all the behind-the-scenes work.
How pretty is this feature wall of blossom?
On the whole I would definitely recommend checking out Sake Restaurant & Bar - especially if you're a Japanese-cuisine-loving foodie. The atmosphere is perfect for dinner with friends however it may burn a hole in the wallet if you're shouting :P
The prices are pretty exxy so save it for a treat day and splurge on all the signature dishes. I can't wait to go back and try the other dishes on the menu!
Sake Restaurant & Bar
12 Argyle Street
Sydney NSW 2000
02 9259 5656