Niji Restaurant & Bar
Niji, at the New South Head Road end of Bay Street in Double Bay, is a celebration of the variety of izakaya-style dining. The restaurant and bar delivers delicately executed Japanese dishes – from sushi and tempura, to karaage crispy fried chicken and grilled wagyu – in a relaxed setting.
In mid 2015, chef Shekhar Aryal (ex-Toko) joined the team, delivering a refreshed menu with a flair for beautiful presentation. Fresh mixed sashimi arrives floating in a bowl of smoky dry ice with one expertly filleted piece curled like a rose. Barbeque chicken is roasted in charcoal, and miso cod is smoked in woodchips. The signature twice-cooked pork belly is soft and flavoured with mesquite and alder smoke. The salad of slow-cooked octopus comes wrapped in paper-thin slices of peppery daikon radish, sprinkled with young herbs and finished with yuzu kosho dressing.
Desserts include light and frothy Hibiki whisky espresso mousse, and rhubarb pudding with caramelised cashew nuts and green tea ice cream. Cocktails are headed up by mixologist Zac Protheroe (previously of The Savoy London) and include hints of yuzu and green tea. Sake comes hot or cold with the menu offering helpful notes. There’s also the option of a three-course omakase (degustation).