Exec Chef: Kimitaka Azuma
My Sushi Chef: I didn’t get his name :(. I kind of wish I did because he wasn’t great…
August 19, 2013
When I googled around to find the top sushi restaurants in Sydney, Yoshii and sushi-e were two of the three most common names to come up. Azuma was the third, so I made it a goal to try it before I left Sydney. Sushi e was a great experience with pretty good sushi, while Yoshii was decent to good food but an average experience. I wanted to see how Azuma would fare (spoiler: not well).
Exec Chef: Peter Gilmore
Date: August 16, 2013
I had a lunch reservation at Quay, arguably Australia’s best restaurant, the day after eating at sushi e. Dinner reservations for Quay are pretty hard to make, as the restaurant is booked out months in advance. However, lunch reservations are far easier. I booked about a week ago when I was in Wellington. (Then again, maybe I just got lucky.) The food at lunch and dinner are apparently very similar, so I didn’t mind that I was going for lunch and not dinner. Both lunch and dinner serve the same tasting menu option, which is great for those who can only make lunch but want to try out the best the restaurant has to offer. (Also, the lighting’s better at lunch!)
I ended up being seated at a table facing the Sydney Opera House, which was pretty awesome. The building is pretty majestic. It’s one of those things that looks awesome in pictures but ends up being even more amazing in person, even though you’ve seen it in pictures and on TV several dozen times already!
Exec Chef: Nobuyuki Ura
My Sushi Chef: Jin
Date: August 15, 2013
After eating as Yoshii the previous night, I spontaneously decided to get lunch at sushi e the next afternoon. I made reservations, but the restaurant wasn’t too crowded. I’m not sure how crowded it gets for dinners, but you could definitely make last-minute reservations for the lunch scene (at least on weekdays).
The restaurant’s located on the 4th level of the Establishment Hotel, located in Sydney’s CBD. There are a bunch of sushi bar seats as well as some small, more intimate tables that are located near the windows. There’s a lot of sunlight (almost too much for photography!).
I was seated near a sushi chef named Jin, and he turned out to be a great guy—as well as a great sushi chef to pair with me. I generally like being able to talk with my chefs a lot when at sushi bars, and he was really friendly! We talked about where he worked in the past, why he’s in Sydney, what he wants to do in the future, and so on. I really should have gotten his card or something… Oh well!
Notes on the sushi:
1. The fish selection is MUCH better than Yoshii’s. I think the fish might be fresher, too.
2. There was a lot of fish in proportion to the amount of rice per piece. I personally would have preferred a more balanced proportion, but I can see that some people would like the proportions here. (Most of my friends generally complain about too much rice and rarely complain about too much fish—however, that might be because the former is much more common.)
3. The rice was a little grainy. The temperature was fine for the most part, though at times it was slightly cold.
Overall, I thought the sushi was better here than at Yoshii.