From humble beginnings as a locals’ Japanese joint in Crows Nest, Azuma has grown into one of Sydney’s premier Japanese restaurants.
Chef Kimitaka Azuma and his wife Yuki opened the original restaurant in 1996, serving just 25 people. In 2000, they moved to Chifley Tower at the request of Japanese company Panasonic – the owner of the building at the time.
This site is comprised of one large room and a range of smaller rooms and sitting spaces. They form a quiet retreat from the hustle of the city. Azuma’s collection of Japanese, Chinese and Australian art features throughout.
A sushi bar near the entrance turns out stone trays of delicate, sculpted sushi. Slivers of fatty tuna, bright kingfish, cuttlefish, raw scallop or scampi and seared salmon belly sit atop hand-rolled pouches of rice. Sashimi is treated with the same reverence. Silky folds of fish are served on mountains of ice alongside hand-cut carrot butterflies or flowers.
Raw fish aside, Azuma’s menu is rich with simply designed dishes that are clean and robust. Juicy strips of Wagyu tri-tip are served with buttery mashed potatoes and stalks of asparagus; and deep-fried scampi is served on top of a basil and pine-nut mayonnaise with a wedge of lemon.
A refined Japanese experience is also available in bento-box form during weekday lunch hours, when most of the customers are in suits.
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