Dinner @ Osaka Bar (Sydney, Australia)

August 22, 2020 in Japanese by thywhaleliciousfay

Between the 6pm and 8pm seatings, I made reservation for the second seating at Osaka Bar. And on the day of my dinner, I reached at 7.55pm. But I had to wait outside the restaurant with a few other customers till customers from the first seating left. But it wasn’t that long a wait cause we managed to enter at 8.05pm.

We were seated accordingly to our time of arrival. Since there were 3 groups that night and me being the second group to arrive, I was seated in the middle of the L-shaped counter. And once everyone settled down, we commenced our omakase sushi course (16 pieces), AUD100 with:-

1) Dish #1 (above) – Salmon & bonito sashimi from New Zealand.

2) Dish #2 (above) – Steamed egg (chawanmushi) with sea urchin and salmon roe (ikura). Was surprised to find fish at the bottom since chef-owner Kazu Nakatani didn’t mention it when he was introducing the dish.

3) Dish #3 (above) – Cold simmered dish of bean curd skin, eggplant, bitter gourd and ladyfinger.

4) Dish #4 (above) – Salmon from Tasmania. Grilled with salt and drizzled with lemon juice before served.

At this point, his wife who was also supporting him in Osaka Bar came round and gave us wet towels. And chef Nakatani san told us that we’re entering into the sushi leg of our omakase course. He mentioned we can choose from 9, 12 or 16 pieces. Although I knew I would go for the full course of 16, it’s nice that we didn’t have to make our decisions then. Chef Nakatani san said he will start off with 9 pieces, and check in with us later if we wanted to continue with 12 and then 16.

  

5) Piece #1, #2 (above) – Grouper from Queensland and king prawn. For the former, it was topped with salt while the latter was topped with oil-free mayonnaise and handmade prawn flakes. Now… Some posted on instagram that the king prawn was topped with kimizu sauce (sauce made with yolk and rice vinegar), but I honestly thought I heard mayonnaise. Guess I would verify that in my next visit. Keke.

6) Piece #3 (above) – Roughly chopped miso-marinated yellowtail, mixed with ginger and chives and served on rice.

  
  

7) Piece #4 to #7 (above) – Octopus topped with paste made with shiso leaves, Japanese oil and pine nut, kelp-marinated whiting topped with roasted yuzu sesame, sardine with chives and ginger, and goat fish (that’s what I heard!) topped with roasted sesame sauce.

8) Piece #8 (above) – Sweet prawn (amaebi) topped with homemade sea urchin sauce. And we were told to suck at the prawn head too.

And as we finished our eighth piece, chef Nakatani san checked with us if we wanted to continue on to 12 pieces. We all nodded. Yeah!

  
  

9) Piece #9 to #12 (above) – Osaka-style mackerel, yellow-fin tuna topped with shaved foie gras, oyster topped with finger lime, and cuttlefish with sea urchin and caviar.

The last 4 pieces went past so far. I guess that’s what happen when one is enjoying the food very much. When we were asked if we wanted to go on to 16 pieces, we nodded.

  

10) Piece #13, #14 (above) – Swordfish torched with garlic butter, and scarlet prawn topped with handmade shiso-pesto paste. And for the swordfish sushi, we were asked to eat it within 5 seconds.

11) Piece #15 (above) – King crab on rice.

12) Piece #16 (above) – Salmon roe on rice, served with a sauce from Italy. And we were told (strictly) to mix it well before eating.

13) Dish #5 (above) – Egg omelette (tamago).

14) Dish #6 (above) – Miso soup.

15) Dessert, AUD8 (above) – Yuzu sorbet.

It was a nice dinner. In fact, as I put together this review, I was reminded of how much I enjoyed myself and just booked myself for a return visit! But now, don’t expect refined sushi. I would describe chef Nakatani san’s sushi as… Rough? In a good way of course! I guessed I’m slightly influenced by my impression of chef Nakatani san. He looked really fierce with his beard. So in line with his image, his sushi was… Rough? Hee. Rough and creative! Uh huh… I liked how he made his own homemade sauce to go with some of the fish toppings (neta).

But chef Nakatani san was actually a friendly teddy bear. I loved it when he smiled. And it was a very intimate setting with only 6 customers. So it was pretty easy for the different groups to converse with one another. Again, I took longer to warm up. And before I did, I guess I must have looked really awkward. But chef Nakatani san didn’t allow me to feel left out. He would occasionally smile at me, make conversations with me, and even rope me into the group conversations. How nice of him!

But don’t take his friendliness for granted. He’s serious about his business. One customer got too comfortable and divulged that he actually wanted to make a last minute cancellation (though continuing to say he’s glad he didn’t because he and his partner were having a good time). And that revelation got chef Nakatani san all riled up.

With my cup of (cold) green tea and add-on dessert, my meal came up to AUD116. Would I recommend Osaka Bar? Let’s just say… If actions speak louder than words, I’ve already locked in my next visit. :)

OSAKA BAR
Shop 15, 50 Llankelly Place, Potts Point, Sydney, NSW, Australia
+61 2 9331 1367, Website
Overall: 7
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 7
Tues – Sat : 18:00 – 22:00
Ambience: 7
Value: 8
Service: 7
* Closed on Mon & Sun