HEAVEN ON A STICK

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - Stellar - - Delicious On Sunday - Shop 2, 100 Baranga­roo Ave, Syd­ney, lo­tus­din­ing.com.au.

FUJISAKI: RE­VIEWED BY AN­THONY HUCKSTEP

WHO knew a sim­ple skewer could change an evening. Charred oc­to­pus stacked up against the rich guile of guan­ciale, col­lapsed, sweet cab­bage and a good lath­er­ing of fer­mented green chilli, all lov­ingly flame-licked on the ro­bata. And, bam! The big flavour mo­ment we’d been wait­ing for.

Fujisaki, the lat­est to join the throng at Baranga­roo has high ex­pec­ta­tions to meet. Part of the Lo­tus Din­ing Group (Madame Shang­hai, Lo­tus, Bing’s Bao & Beer) the mod­ern Ja­panese restau­rant is bank­ing on the culi­nary nous of two chefs who have in­de­pen­dently had an im­pact on Syd­ney din­ing.

Ex­ec­u­tive chef Chui Lee Luk set French hearts aflut­ter at Claude’s, while sushi master Ryuichi Yoshii (ex-yoshii) is all about omakase (sushi and sashimi) and hon­our­ing the catch of the day.

It’s all very swish. Vel­vet seat­ing, a sushi counter, dark tim­bers, brass, charred wood walls and large sky­lights in­side, and there’s a swag of al­fresco seats and three pri­vate din­ing rooms, too. But what’s most pleas­ing is eat­ing the food of such amaz­ing chefs again.

A salad of kombu, pick­les and shred­ded let­tuce is just stun­ning. Lobes of sea urchin roe top sweet span­ner crab, av­o­cado and a dashi jelly with de­light­ful depth, while wasabi and shiso bring out the beauty in sweet baby corn charred in their husks. Fol­low that with Yoshii’s sub­lime sashmi of king­fish, cut­tle­fish, King Ge­orge whit­ing and scal­lop, and it all seems hard to fault. But chicken liver par­fait is out of place, and I’d give dull salted duck a miss, but putting the cal­i­bre of Luk and Yoshii to­gether is akin to rock­stars form­ing a su­per­group.

There will be mo­ments where a col­li­sion of cre­ativ­ity af­fects over­all co­he­sive­ness. But with an im­pres­sive sake, wine and cock­tail list, friendly and knowl­edge­able ser­vice and enough ex­em­plary eat­ing ex­pe­ri­ences early on, it’s fair to say Fujisaki is adding some se­ri­ous culi­nary cache to Baranga­roo.

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