kaiseki :: sasaki, sydney

Ma. The concept of Japanese minimalism. Shibui. The aesthetic of simple, subtle, and unobtrusive beauty.

Everything about Sasaki is delicate, minimalist, has beauty and purpose, and of course, the finest ingredients are precisely and proudly cooked, plated and presented.

We had the “omakase” menu, which translates to ‘leave it up to you’, the chef. A degustation of sorts.

Plump pretty oysters (Oyster, Akazu & Mandarin), silky subtle scallops(Scallops, Celeriac & Kombu), a joyously wobbly savoury custard with poached prawns (Egg & Prawn), delicate slices of fish with dipping sauce & condiments (Bonito, Apple & Ponzu), crunchy tempura asparagus with farm fresh corn purée (Asparagus, Corn & Matcha), pinkest of fish with pops of row and mushroom rice (Ocean trout, egg Yolk & Ikura), rare duck – not my thing – (Duck, soy, leek) with soup (egg in bonito broth) and choice of desserts (choux pastry and mango sorbet).

It’s a true, Tokyo-esque kaiseki style restaurant in a hidden inner Sydney city laneway.

Kanpeki. 充実. Perfection.

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Folonomo :: restaurant review

For love not money is the ethos of this place and their name reflects that using the first two letters of each word in the saying.

It’s Sydney’s first “profit for purpose” restaurant, where after operating costs, all profits go to charity.

The food is sustainable and ethically sourced, but it’s beautiful, tasty, fragrant and inspires long comfortable dinner talking & laughing with your love or a bunch of friends.


Simple dishes (rump steak with kipfler potatoes & eel butter) yet complex with texture (braise lamb shoulder with ‘dirty rice’ that consists of three different types of rice with crunchy toasted seeds and duck mince).

Their kitchen is small but lively and sitting at the counter you get to see the dedication to quality and the enjoyment that is had by the chefs and cooks to produced these dishes. It’s fun efficiency, especially when the night starts to wind down and “staffies” beers are cracked as a reward to a job well done.

All plates are for sharing and we had one of the two sides; the cauliflower rice with silverbeet lemon & mint and it was to.die! The soft yet still firm cauli mixed with pops of mint, wholesomeness of the silverbeet and crunch of toasted seeds was a true party in my mouth! It was a fresh side to lighten the richness of the steak & fall-apart lamb dishes.


Again, dessert was shared; this heavenly French pastry bread called ‘kouigin amann’ buttery and toasty and served with baked pears, firm and caramel-y, lemon curd and in-house vanilla icecream. Oh.My.God. Seriously.


It’s BYO wine/champers at the moment while they wait on their liquor license.

5 dishes, wonderful staff, good food, good atmosphere, $125. Leave a hefty tip because it all goes to charity!

//all photos my own//

the owl house

Want the two best words of the week?

Date Night!

The Owl House in Darlinghurst is where we went for our date earlier this week.

owlhouseowlhouse_fun

Located just off Williams St, this little red terrace is cute & cosy; hosting a well stocked candlelit bar downstairs and a small dining room upstairs.

We had a special experience created by Lime & Tonic which was for a set 5 small-course meal which we kicked off at the bar;

starting off at the bar
starting off at the bar
tea lights in the little wall cracks
tea lights in the little wall cracks
I'd have to say I agree!
I’d have to say I agree!

We were then taken upstairs by the waitress Anna for our dinner

upstairs dining
upstairs dining
upstairs dining
upstairs dining

The terraces in Darlinghurst have a lot of history; the suburb was established in the 1830s and in recent years business owners are embracing the history of the area and the people who lived there through interior design that keeps in theme with the rich history of early Sydney.

My photos are a little dark, as I didn’t want to disrupt the ambiance (or embarrass Jay) with my phone’s gigantic flash! But you get the idea; Commonwealth influences, red walls, candles, recycled timber, etc.

course 1 | oyster with pepper citrus foam
course 1 | oyster with pepper citrus foam
course 2 | oxtail croquette on a bed of herbed mayo & watercress
course 2 | oxtail croquette on a bed of herbed mayo & watercress
course 3 | beetroot mousse with creme fraiche & snowpea tendrils
course 3 | beetroot mousse with creme fraiche celeriac coleslaw & snowpea tendrils
course 4 | veal medallion, brisket with walnut cracker topping on parsnip mash
course 4 | veal medallion, brisket with walnut cracker topping on parsnip mash with roasted yellow beetroot & shredded silverbeet
course 5 | chocolate mousse topped with honeycomb with a little chocolate & almond brownie
course 5 | chocolate mousse topped with honeycomb with a little chocolate & almond brownie

The food was an exciting surprise (we didn’t know what the menu held for us) and the dining room is intimate and candlelit, making for a romantic night out!

If you can, I recommend you head over there for an after work beverage or dinner with a girlfriend/mate/date!

‘Best Bar with Food’ winner: 2012 SMH Good Food Guide. The Owl House Darlinghurst is for superb food, or spoiling yourself with a cocktail for grown-ups.

Check out their website for details