8 years ago Rise Restaurant closed but Hideki Okazaki is back with his new restaurant Eiju, a Japanese and Italian fusion restaurant in Pyrmont
It’s been 8 long years since Rise Restaurant closed! Rise was one of my favourite restaurants, a tiny Japanese restaurant hidden in Darlinghurst that my family celebrated all our birthdays and milestones at and we were devastated when they closed. But surprise! Hideki Okazaki is back with his new restaurant Eiju, a Japanese and Italian fusion restaurant in Pyrmont. They currently have a special of $59 for the 5 course set menu which is pretty damn good for Sydney prices!
We begin with the salmon confit and if you know me at all you’ll know I can happily eat salmon every meal for a month and Eiju’s salmon just blew me away. Fat slices of incredibly tender salmon snuggle oh so demurely against curls of zucchini, paper thin slices of radish, seaweed salad, pops of briny salmon roe and dressed with a tangy yuzu vinaigrette. Definitely a last supper type of dish for me!
The spiced soft shell crab fritter was a great contrast to the salmon, the batter on the crab was beautifully golden, light and crisp, and surprisingly went well with the creamy guacamole and tangy yoghurt sauce layered throughout the jenga pile.
Next up was the spaghetti with barramundi ragu and scallops, saffron and artichoke. How cute is the presentation? Make your way past the foam, twirl up some spaghetti and dig for nubbins of salmon and scallop like your own personal treasure hunt where you are the lucky winner!
Gah can this photo be any more blurry… my bad! Our last savoury is the roasted quail lovingly wrapped in prosciutto with a yuzu milk foam. The quail is deliciously juicy and tender but it’s the cauliflower puree which has me frantically scraping the plate clean- it’s rich and creamy and just absolutely perfect.
Dessert is a green tea fondant with black sesame ice cream. The fondant itself is surprisingly fluffy and light with a rich dark chocolate centre and I absolutely loved the intense black sesame flavour of the ice cream!
Eiju Fusion Japanese Dining
196 Harris St,
Fri – Sun: 11:30am – 2:30pm, 6 – 10pm
Tues – Thurs: 6 – 10pm
Spanish Sakaba, Willoughby is a Spanish and Japanese hybrid restaurant with classic Spanish dishes like paella, garlic prawns and chorizo alongside Japanese inspired dishes like tempura, yakitori and ramen at lunch.
Ah winter. How I hate the cold! I know Sydney’s weather is considered quite mild in comparison to other places around the world but mate, I layer up with thermals, jumpers, coats scarves and fleece lined stockings and I’m still bloody freezing! It’s little wonder that I constantly crave for warm, soupy foods like ramen! Spanish Sakaba is, like their name suggests, a Spanish and Japanese hybrid restaurant with classic Spanish dishes like paella, garlic prawns and chorizo alongside Japanese inspired dishes like tempura, yakitori and ramen at lunch.
Spanish Sakaba recently started opening for lunch on Saturdays so a jaunt over the bridge one dreary morning and we arrive in the lands of Willoughby. Every couple of weeks they do a ramen special and today’s offering was an Aburi pork belly ramen ($18.80). I liked the thick shio base but it was the pork belly that blew me away- thickly sliced, incredibly smoky, and meltingly tender.
The Wagyu Oxtail Ramen ($17.80) had a chicken and beef broth that was nice and light with a good peppery kick. The 6 hours slow cooked Wagyu oxtail meat was tender with gelatinous fatty nubbins and that whole mountain of fresh coriander was awesome because I friggen love coriander and it cut through the richness of the oxtail. This ramen came with thin noodles thought I must say I do prefer the wavy type?
The Black Mussel Ramen ($18.80) was awesome! The broth was a creamy white wine and chicken base and studded with shaved fennel, saffron, a generous amount of mussels aaand my favourite wavy noodles! I’m not even the biggest mussel fan but damn, I loved this ramen and would definitely order this again also lol you won’t be able to tell from the photo but the bowl is so massive you could totally bathe a baby in it.
537 Willoughby Rd,
Mon – Sat: 11:30am–2:30pm, 5:30–10pm