Sash Japanese is the latest venue to make the trip up the Hume Highway and so far it’s made that journey more gracefully than most other convoys. Originating in Melbourne, Sash has been a hit in Sydney since day one, serving up flavours both brazen and familiar. Taking the city’s taste for fusion, Sash has kept the baton moving. Its inventive dishes fuse East and West in the most delightful and colourful way, and prove you’ll never have to choose between theatrics and flavour.
Sash plays right into the Instagram era of restaurants, with a gorgeous amethyst-lit venue, stylish food, and dreamy cocktails – but it’s looks aren’t all its good for. The menu at Sash lives up to all its expectations, and you’ll need more than just a couple of visits to get close to trying it all. To make the choice easier Sash has released a Trust Me menu, developed by restauranteurs Dave Nelson and Kyle Stagoll in partnership with head chef Peter Wu. The menu can be overwhelming with the number of variations within each section, so Trust Me is the perfect way to find the very best the establishment has to offer.
You’ll need a drink to start you on your way, and with the drinks page taking up as much space as the food, try your hardest to pick just one to begin. The heavenly cocktail menu exemplifies the innovation at the heart of the Sash brand, with concoctions like the delicious Yuzu Cheesecake (sake, yuzu, lemon, green tea, egg white), fancy Geisha Girl (plum wine, yuzu, lemon juice, egg white, sake), and the daring Kyoto Black Lycee Martini (vodka, Soho lychee, activated charcoal, elderflower). Other features include a decked-out sake list, and a wine menu that details the flavours of each variety in a way a non-sommelier can understand. The staff at Sash are outstanding and can recommend a drink to suit your appetite, but whatever you pick will be the right choice.
The rambling food menu is a continuation of the fun had with the libations, and if you’ve opted for the Taste Me option, you can sit back and enjoy the ride. First off the bat is the oyster Japanese mignonette, Sydney rock oysters served with a shiso jelly, black tobiko, chives, red wine vinegar, shichimi togarashi and black pepper. The fresh shellfish are divine when served with the tangy concoction and even adversaries might learn to love them. Edamame comes on the side and is the perfect textural element to offset the oysters, providing just enough salt for your palate. Next out are the spicy tuna tacos, which are as visually pleasing as they are delicious. Yellow fin tuna is paired with avocado, chilli mayo, teriyaki and wasabi tobiko, and they’re both crispy and soft in the most delightful way. These tacos are messy to eat which feels strange when sitting in such a stunning venue, but every table is fighting the same fight, so have a ball and get stuck in.
The blue cheese sashimi pizza is the most controversial and buzzy addition to the menu, fusing two of the most popular dishes from Italian and Japanese cuisines. Seared tuna and salmon is served with mozzarella, blue vein cheese, wasabi mayo, sriracha and cherry tomatoes, and somehow it actually works. It’s a confusing mouthful indeed but Chef Wu’s artful manipulation of flavour turns what could be a disaster into a total hit. The sake buttermilk nuggets are out next and are a guaranteed knock-out at every table. 48-hour buttermilk-soaked chicken is topped with smoked spiced, maple syrup and kewpie mayo and they are sensational. You could order three bowls of this chicken and be totally satisfied with your meal. Perfectly bite sized, crunchy and succulent – this karaage is phenomenal.
Sash proves throughout their menu that they have mastered fusion and innovation, but their sushi shows they know exactly what they’re doing with traditional Japanese too. The wasabi tuna and salmon volcano come out next on the menu and they’re exactly as you’d hope. Combining top quality fish with avocado, cucumber, wasabi and teriyaki, you couldn’t ask for a more refined and sophisticated sushi. The sesame watermelon salad provides the fresh crunch you need to neutralise your palate after the savoury section is complete.
The Godzilla taco is the chosen dessert feature and successfully amalgamates everything Sash has to offer – showmanship, originality and downright good cooking. Yuzu custard is nestled in fried puff pastry taco, along with cookies and cream ice cream, mango compote and Oreo crumbs.
Menu favourites outside of this chosen selection are the tuna sashimi, served with yuzu ponzu, truffle oil, wasabi salt, red onion, black tobiko and chives; the decadent Wagyu truffle taco with Wagyu beef, sushi rice, truffle yakiniku, tomato, truffle aioli and jalapeno salsa; and the soft shell crab bao served with red cabbage slaw, garlic aioli and tobiko.
Whether you choose to stick with the pre-established menu or to mix and match yourself, you’re in for a night of surprise, flavour and lip smacking good food. It’s clear that a huge amount of consideration has gone into every dish that’s featured, and you can taste the skill of the cooking in every bite. If you’re ready to approach Japanese cuisine in a new and fresh manner than Sash is the location for you, and if you’re not… you’ll probably love it anyway.
SASH JAPANESE RESTAURANT
0466 434 159
80 Wentworth ave, Surry Hills
Sydney NSW 2000