52 Waterloo Street is quickly becoming one of the hottest eating and drinking destinations in Sydney. In the same complex as Orto Trading Co and El Capo, Kenji Maeneka (ex-Bodega) has created Izakaya Fujiyama, a fabulous spot for any night out - there's Japanese beers, plum wines and sake, and lots of great share plates.
We chose to dine here on our very first night as Surry Hills locals :)
I love the handwritten specials menu!
We start with Kingfish nuta with tortilla ($15). It's a small mountain of lime and miso marinated diced kingfish, served with fried tortilla chips. Earthy, salty, sweet and crunchy - love!
We also try the bonito salad ($13.50) which was on the specials menu. The bonito is beautifully seared, and paired so well with crisp shreds of carrot, daikon and onion, and a zesty garlic and soy dressing.
You can't go wrong with the chef's selection sashimi plate ($24), there's salmon, tuna, mackerel and the most decoratively sliced cuttlefish. The plate looks so dainty with its gorgeously arranged condiments - the chopped spring onion, thin ribbons of daikon, the confetti of cucumber and red onion, and slices of lemon and lime and radish. It's simple dishes like this where you can really taste the freshness.
Unfortunately, while the tempura prawns (3 pieces for $9.50) looks the part, the batter is a bit limp and lacks any substance.
However, it is all uphill from there.
I adore my agedashi tofu ($13.50) and the one here is brilliant! Uniquely served with braised shiitake mushrooms and okra, there's a satisfy savoury oomph in the dish. The outside of the tofu is sticky with a nice bite and the inside is utmost silky. The light soy dressing leaves a lingering comforting note.
Kenji's Fried Chicken ($13.50), may coincidentally have the same acronym as Kentucky Fried Chicken but the execution is anything but fast food. The garlic and ginger flavours are clean and crisp and the chicken is just so juicy and tender!
For dessert, we share the Fujiyama Jaffa ($13.50) which consists of a frozen chocolate cake with kumquat sauce, and a Yogo-textured mousse with I think rosemary flavoured popcorn. It's a bizarre combination of flavours but it's so tasty.
What a fabulous gem to have in the neighbourhood!
I'm looking forward to many more meals here!
Shop G09, 52 Waterloo Street Surry Hills NSW
Phone: (02) 9698 2797