Saturday, 17 May 2014


Happy birthday Dad.

Sake restaurant in The Rocks, Sydney has become a bit of a family favourite, so we were rather excited when we were invited to share Dad's 60th birthday with him there.

White soy snapper topped with sesame seeds, chives, yuzo juice and; white-soy dressing.

The evening was a feast for the eyes and the mouth. Somehow Dad and I have developed the same obsession with miso soup even though our initial Japanese dining experiences were not had together, but the last few times we went to Sake we both ordered the miso soup and wanted to drink the whole pot, so I was chuffed when I saw that it was on the menu. I need to invest some time in learning how to make a good miso, it is such a feel good, healthy drink.

The first course was sashimi white soy snapper and slipped down my throat. It was followed by wagyu new style and by the second dish I discovered that I have a liking for yuzo sauce, after thoroughly enjoying this new flavour in both courses.

Wagyu new style, lightly seared with hot oil and; finished with ginger, chives and; yuzo saucae.

The next dish of glacier 51 toothfish marinated in miso and served in a crispy lettuce leaf was delightful, sadly there was only one cup per person....since we were with company I was on my best behaviour and didn't fight Mark for his, but the thought did cross my mind.

Glacier 51 toothfish was marinated in miso.
Most of us were really looking forward to the prawn dumplings, and when they burst in my mouth my feet did a little dance in excitement. They certainly lived up to the anticipation.

Chinese inspired steamed prawn dumplings (shumai) with spicy ponzu. .
The next dish of pan seared barramundi smelt so good that Lara woke up as it entered the room, no way was she going to miss out on trying it. She devoured this dish, and I think she had more than her fair share-no one else would be able to steal that much food off my plate and get away with it. Sepia needs to take a note from the Sake kitchen on how you are meant to use buckwheat as this dish was a perfect execution of light complex flavours with just the right amount of textures on the plate. Japanese chefs always excel at this, which is probably why it is Mark's and my favourite cuisine. We dream of the day when we get to take our kids to Japan.

Pan seared ocean barramundi finished with butter soy on sweet ponzu buckwheat & tomato salsa.
Lara was a fan of the barramundi.
A Japanese meal is not complete without tempura which is always a treat. The batter was light and crispy and the dipping sauce was so delicious that I think I probably triple dipped.

Scampi tempura with sweet ponzu, coriander and; jalapeno slices.

The chef's selection of nigiri was delightful. Naturally the wasabi was real and had the associated complex flavours that can't be matched by packet stuff. The ginger was perfectly light and fresh and the scallop was seared slightly just to caramelise it. I will definitely be ordering this when we go back.

Chef's selection of nigiri.
Of course, this was Dad's birthday celebration, so there had to be cake, and there is no better cake than a Messina gelato cake. They have well and truly earned their reputation. Luckily Lara had gone back to sleep by the time we were having dessert, because I doubt I would have been very willing to let her share as much of my cake as she would have liked.

Messina gelato cake
Now we wait for an excuse to do it all again.

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