Sunday, February 12, 2012
Saké, The Rocks
I’m not sure why it has taken so long for me to write this post, considering this was actually my birthday dinner with two of my favourite people, Steve and Denéa. Yes, this was June last year! Since then, I have been back to Saké quite a few times, and each time has been flawless. An unassuming entrance near the Argyle Steps in the Rocks leads into a cosy dining room, which quickly filled up on that chilly Friday night.
We were seated at the sushi bar, which surrounds the kitchen and is probably the best seat in the house. It’s fascinating to watch the chefs work under the watchful eye of Chef Shaun Presland, wielding sharp knives with the utmost precision. We order a bottle of Rosé and started with some Edamame, served simply with salt. It was Steve’s first time eating edamame, but he quickly got the hang of popping open the pods!
With friends in the kitchen, Denéa tells the chefs to send us whatever they’d like, and I just knew we were in for a treat. First up there was this beautiful dish – slices of snapper fanned out with white sesame, yuzu and shredded daikon. I loved this delicate, fresh dish that set a high standard for the things to come!
One of Saké’s most famous signature dishes is the Kingfish Jalapeno Sashimi, served with yuzu soy, jalapeno slices and coriander. The flavour combination was phenomenal! The dressing was citrussy and salty, and the jalapeno gave a punchy flavour that worked so well with the fresh, firm fish slices. It was one of my favourite dishes of the whole night!
The Beef Tataki was a surprise from the kitchen, seared tenderloin was sliced paper thin, with garlic crisps for texture, snow pea sprouts and tataki sauce. The cherry tomato on the side was a lovely addition too.
A must order at Saké is the Popcorn Shrimp. I would be happy with a bowl of this all to myself and a nice cold beer for my last meal, it really is that good! Bite size pieces of shrimp in a tempura batter, fried until crispy and served with a spicy mayonnaise. We may or may not have fought over the last one. Don’t miss this dish folks, it’s a winner.
Another standout of the evening was the Steamed Prawn Dumplings, which looked different to any dumplings I had ever seen before! Inspired by Chinese shumai dumplings and covered with what look like thin noodles. They were generously filled with prawn and served with a spicy ponzu sauce. Seriously delicious.
Up until a few months ago, I wouldn’t have called myself a sushi fan, but this dinner changed my mind about it. The S Express is to this day some of the best sushi I’ve ever had, with scallops, spicy mayo, cucumber, seared salmon, witlof and sweet sauce. What a fabulous combination of tastes and textures! It’s not cheap, coming in at $22 and making it by far the most expensive sushi roll I’ve ever eaten, but it’s worth every cent!
We were defeated by this point and couldn’t fit in dessert, but this had been an amazing meal and we were all very happy. Since this very first visit, Saké has become one of my favourite Sydney restaurants that I love to go back to every chance I get! There are so many unique, fabulous dishes on the menu, but it’s hard to go past your favourites.
Saké Restaurant, 12 Argyle St, The Rocks (02) 9259 5656
Saké, The Rocks