Outside of Japan’s big cities, the izakayas become so casual and friendly they’re almost like dining inside someone’s home. Often the owner will also be the chef, barman and even dishwasher. Nom is the closest Sydney has to this kind of experience. Besides Nom’s large range of Japanese alcohol, the alley-like bar is bare and soft like a garden-side living room.
The food is equally comforting, with all the izakaya stalwarts, such as grilled fish, tempura, karage and sashimi, but nothing over $20. Try chef Kimiko Uriu’s favourite saké of the month, Taketsuru. Make sure to book ahead as the tiny space barely fits 20 seats.