Something is happening to Enmore. In just over a year the strip up from the Enmore Theatre has welcomed Ibrahim Kasif’s Stanbuli, American barbeque at Bovine and Swine, Hartsyard’s bar spinoff The Gretz, and Egyptian at Cairo Takeaway. This week the busy street gains another pre-theatre contender in Tori Bar, a yakitori-sake-and-beer bar.
Owners Andrea Dal Bosco, Edward Howell and Mario Montecuollo have reinvented Bar Racuda, one of Enmore’s first small bars. The trio decided to reinvigorate the venue after a revelatory trip to Japan. “What we were impressed by was the experience in Japan,” says Dal Bosco. “It's never sit down, eat your chicken and go home.”
The space was designed by 9Erawan Design. There are a few tables with seats either at the bar (looking straight at the chefs and bartenders) or just behind it. There’s a smaller bar hidden at the back for more intimate evenings or bartender-customer one-on-ones. “We wanted there to be a lot of interaction with the bar,” says Howell.
The front bar is where most of the action happens. Chef Hiro Kano oversees a small grill, typically topped with all parts of the chicken (yakitori classics such as soft bone, skin and giblets), pork belly, beef tongue, wagyu cubes and asparagus-and-sake-coated king-brown mushrooms. Skewers make up most of the menu and can be ordered by the stick or omakase style, which is essentially trusting the chef to feed you until you’re full. Otherwise there’s a rotating selection of sashimi, raw vegetables with an intense miso dip or, the Tori Bar team’s favourite, egg sandwiches. “We ate them every morning [in Japan],” says Dal Bosco.
The other end of the bar serves organic wines, Japanese beers on tap, sake-inspired cocktails (such as the saketini or sagroni) and a small but varied selection of mostly high-grade sake. “You’ll also be able to buy a carafe and we’ll store it for you for later,” says Montecuollo. “The longer it’s open, the better it becomes.”
105 Enmore Road, Enmore (02) 9519 1121
Hours: Tue to Thu 5pm–11pm Fri to Sat 5pm–12am