Saturday, May 18, 2013

Sushia Izakaya and Bar - Bond Street, Sydney

For those lucky enough to have spent some time in Japan, they will have undoubtedly come across Izakayas (casual watering holes that also serve food).

Now nestled deep in between two office blocks in Bond Street, is Sushia Izakaya and Bar. Already popular in North Sydney and other locations, Sushia is a hit with the lunch time crowd. With this new premises, Sushia also takes aim at evening diners and drinkers alike.

A narrow entrance reveals a sleek interior with a sushi train leading to additional tables and bar seats.

Thirsty? Kirin, Asahi and Sapporo too mainstream for you? Here you will find a range of Japanese beers (from ales to stouts) brewed by Ise Kadoya, Ocean Kujukuri and Ishikawa. I ordered the Ise Kadoya Pale Ale and was pleasantly surprised by its full flavour and fruity overtones.

Also available is a range of sakes. All the sake on the wine list is 'Junmai' which means that it is made with only rice, water and koji (no brewer's alcohol or additives). Available by the 'glass' is Nihon Sakari which is described as light soft semi dry. I have to agree that the soft sweet initial taste gives way to a drier finish which reveals the additional subtle flavours. I'm beginning to see what all the fuss is about. Other varieties include those with a roasted rice flavour as well as 'very dry with a fruity hint'.

 Now that we have a drink, it's time to line the stomach. Our friendly waiter John first presents us with the Sushi and Sashimi Platter. A great way to start the meal and the measuring stick to indicate the quality of any Japanese restaurant. The presentation is immaculate and the quality did not disappoint. The tuna, salmon but especially the kingfish today was fantastically fresh. The fish has an al dente firmness that only super fresh fish can. The nigiri sushi was also excellent. The rice wasn't too compressed or gluggy as you find with lesser quality sushi. 

Super fresh salmon

Sushi Sashimi Platter
Agedashi Tofu
Next came the ubiquitous Agedashi Tofu. This dish was anything but standard and was a highlight for me. It a clear example of how it should be done. A crisp crunchy exterior reveals smooth and silky tofu. Bathed in dashi stock with a nice balance of sweet and savoury. One surprising addition was in the form of toasted almond slivers. This added an interesting textural element and the nutty flavour was a welcome inclusion.
Seafood Kushiyaki
Rounding out the 'starters' was the Seafood Kushiyaki w. Chilli Balsamic Sauce. A skewer with a salmon, scallop and prawn, this seem to come from leftfield and had a south east Asian vibe rather than Japanese. A good combination of elements that I enjoyed, however my scallop was a bit well done. A small blip in an otherwise excellent meal.
Wagyu beef steak

For main we were treated with the Wagyu Beef Steak. 9+ marbling ensures that as the steak is cooked, it bastes itself with it's own fat. That might not sound all that appetising, but the sliced steak on sesame demi sauce was mouth wateringly juicy and rich. Yum.
Unagi sushi
My stomach was already at capacity but I felt like more of my favourites: eel and salmon roe sushi. So out came unagi and ikura sushi. The eel was excellent but the ikura did not quite live up to the standard of the other sushi served on the night.
The final act of gluttony was a serve of house-made Green Tea and Black sesame Ice cream. The green tea ice cream was much more intense in flavour than others I had tried. There was the unmistakable earthiness of the matcha but also a slight bitterness which help to cut the sweetness. The black sesame was also a slight departure from what I was used to. Instead of perfectly smooth ice cream, this one had small chunks of black sesame seeds throughout adding a nice textural element to the ice cream. A great end to the meal.
Green tea and black sesame ice cream
Sushia Izakaya and Bar 
Ground Floor, Shop 4 
20 Bond Street, Sydney NSW 2000
(02) 9247 9911

YaYa's dined as guests of Sushia Izakaya and Bar


  1. I'm so glad this is close to where I work! It all looks so GOOD!

  2. What a great little find in the city! Izakayas were one of my favourite dining places in Japan :D

  3. Love the way the sashimi is perched on little stone eggs (?) to elevate them on the plate! All looks yum!

  4. Yes, little stones, with a paper thin slice of daikon radish to stop it from slipping off!

  5. that sushi platter looks fantastic!