Jugemu & Shimbashi
Jugemu & Shimbashi is two restaurants in one. On the Jugemu side there’s a teppan grill crisping fat discs of Japanese pancakes. On the Shimbashi side there are booths of Japanese floor mats and a muscled, bald man making soba noodles by hand in a tall glass box.
Shimbashi is the only restaurant in Sydney to make handmade soba noodles fresh every day. It’s a difficult process but the restaurant can thank its resident noodle maker, Masahiko Tojo. He has been making handmade soba and other noodles for more than a decade. The soba he makes every day with organic Tasmanian buckwheat are uniformly thin, chewy and full of flavour. They arrive on a bamboo mat with a dipping bowl of stock. Ricky Murai, the restaurant’s owner, recommends the rich black-sesame stock with Japanese curry spices, duck and shimeji mushrooms.
Jugemu is run by Kota Takahashi. His expertise is in the art of teppanyaki and okonomiyaki. The latter is the Japanese pancake, a mixture of flour, egg, grated yam, cabbage and a mixture of meats and seafood. The house special has pork belly, prawn, calamari, scallops and shallots. Takahashi lathers the pancake in mayo and a thick savoury sauce that closely resembles Worcestershire sauce.