Wednesday, 11 March 2020: Saké Restaurant & Bar’s contingent of Japan-born and trained chefs have drawn on traditional cuisine, authentic cooking techniques and their signature super-fusion stamp to create a range of new dishes bursting with innovation.
All six Saké restaurants across Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane have added a core range of five new dishes to their menus, as well as creations that are exclusive, tailored to each location and draw on each chef’s personal style.
Creation of the core quintet was overseen by Saké Brand Chef Yosuke Hatanaka.
Ebi toast, the Osaka street-food take on quintessential Chinese prawn toast, is finessed and contemporised with lemon mayonnaise, tobiko, aonori and lemon zest in each crisp, fried bite.
Sensational smoked ocean trout sashimi brings into play the ancient art of hay smoking, which Chef Yosuke learnt at Tokyo institution and 3-starred Michelin restaurant RyuGin, and in a masterstroke of food pairing brings together the delicate flavours of trout and basil’s sweet pungency.
Abrolhos Island scallops are served sashimi-style with karasumi and yuzukosho, a Japanese citrus-chilli paste, in yuzu white soy dressing. Chef Yosuke describes the marriage of sweet scallops and the natural saltiness of karasumi, or salted mullet roe, as “one of my favourite chinmis” – the rare taste of an age-old delicacy that has fallen out of fashion, and is rejuvenated and celebrated by Saké chefs.
Rangers Valley striploin tataki is tricked up in smokey BBQ Tex-Mex style, with the charcoal grill imparting a smokey touch to the beef which is amplified by smoked dashi soy.
Dynamite scallops, named for Saké’s signature, spicy mentai mayonnaise, are laced with this delicious kick-starter, and served alongside shiitake mushroom, rice, yuzu zest and nori.
Chef Hatanaka says the new dishes are inspired by the artistry of Japanese cuisine and imprinted with Saké’s eclectic style. “Each dish is a fusion of styles, flavours and cultural cross-references, as well as each chef’s personal spin on contemporary Japanese cuisine,” he says.
Venue-exclusive dishes include an incredible Kingfish ceviche at Saké The Rocks, which brings a Japanese twist to Peruvian and Mexican ceviche by pairing lemon miso with jalapeno, charred corn and coriander and serving the ceviche on a tostada made from gyoza skin with nori salt seasoning.
Saké Manly gives an Aussie cult favourite dish, barbecued prawns, a Japanese twist by grilling king prawns on the robata and adding shiso, garlic butter, ponzu and Parmesan.
Saké Eagle Street Pier in Brisbane heroes slow-cooked pork belly with rich, sweet sansho teriyaki dressing, alongside pickled cabbage, and curly shallot flower.
At Saké Hamer Hall in Melbourne a hero dish is a Japanese-Australian fusion of kangaroo striploin, which is cooked sous vide in red wine and lemon myrtle and served with teriyaki balsamic, edamame puree and kizami wasabi.
Alongside the new dishes are a fresh range of cocktails that blend exquisite Japanese spirits with house-made syrups and infusions to create an autumn-inspired repertoire.
White Obake (ghost) marries Ketel One vodka, Kizakura Daku cloudy sake, Disaronno Amaretto with coconut milk, lime juice, and vanilla syrup, and is served in a coconut flake-rimmed coupe glass.
Ginger Shojito combines warm, spiced notes of Pampero Blanco rum, ginger bread syrup, ginger beer and lime juice with shiso leaves.
Grandpa’s Ice Tea is a blend of tea-infused Bacardi Reserva Ocho and house-made brown sugar and charred cinnamon syrup, which is dashed with chocolate bitters and served, hot or cold, in a Japanese tea cup.