Monday, 20 September 2010

Sake Restaurant & Bar, The Rocks

Menu & Hand Towel

We rang up close to 6pm to make a reservation on a Saturday night and as expected the tables are all fully booked out.
However, we were offered seats at the counter and to finish by 8.30pm. No problemo !
Just like dining out in Japan, you get a wet towel as you are seated (to clean your hands I suppose ?) in Sake.
We ordered some edamame to nibble on while we decide what to order...hum hum hum...
The edamame came in a generous serving size and we were still nibbling at it by the end of the dinner.


The Skinny Sumo ; Mocktail

There were a few delicious sounding cocktails on the menu, my friend settled on the Skinny Sumo, a concoction of Tantakatan Shochu (a shochu made with shiso or perilla leaves), lime juice, shiso leaf, vanilla sugar and sparkling wine. I didn't take a sip but it looked yum ^_^
Naturally I asked if they can do mocktails since I cannot see them on the menu. The waitress then advised that they do not have a fixed mocktail menu, just tell them what flavours you like and the bartender can mix something up for you, nice.... :D
I asked for something citrusy and refreshing, so I got something that I cannot remember anymore >___<
I remembered it was mainly orange juice and some sparkling beverage, I am sure there is other flavours in it....arrghhh why didn't I write it down !!!
Nevermind what is in there, the most important thing was that the mocktail is just what I'm after and was goood...

Main Dining Area @ Sake

Crispy Skin Pork Belly Bites
w/ Edamame Puree, Sweet Cabbage, Yuzu Pepper & Reduced Balsamic Teriyaki Sauce

We ordered a 2 entrees, a sushi roll and a main for our meal that night. To start with, the crispy skin pork belly bites. The meat was tender and juicy, while the skin was indeed crispy. The other flavours on the plate complemented the pork very well.

Kingfish Jalapeno
Hiramasa Kingfish, Yuzu Soy, Thin Jalapeno Slices & Coriander

As recommended by our friendly waitress, we also had the kingfish jalapeno. I'm glad we listened because it was really good ! The kingfish sashimi slices were firm and fresh, and the yuzu soy dressing added a perfect citrusy saltiness complemented by the spicy jalapeno.
It was definitely our favourite !

Hot Kitchen vs Cold Kitchen

The benefit of sitting on the counter is of course you can observe all the action in the kitchen. I must say for an open kitchen, it is very zen...
There wasn't much noise coming out from the kitchen except some occasional confirmation of orders of course :)
The kitchens were divided into 2 separate section, a hot section for the cooked stuffs and of course the cold one for the sushi and other raw dishes. There is also a small section at the back where the desserts were prepared. 

Chef Shaun Presland

Another benefit is of course we get to see Chef Shaun Presland, whom you would have seen on the last season of Masterchef Australia, in action. Didn't see him much cooking in the kitchen but he was at the pass doing finishing touches to the dishes before being served. 
There was a lady that asked for a photo with the chef, which he happily posed for :) But of course that is not enough for the lady, after a photo in the dining room, she insisted on taking another with him in the kitchen and she dragged him LOL
I suppose he had no choice but to obliged ? 

Salmon Skin Maki
Crispy Smoked Salmon Skin, Salmon, Cucumber & Mayo with Sesame Seeds

The salmon skin unfortunately was smoked way too far, it has a bitter burnt flavour to it. Which was a pity because the bitter taste just masked all the other components that had more delicate flavours.
Perhaps the other sushi rolls would have fared better.

Miso - Butterfish
Miso Marinated Butterfish Grilled with Pickled Radish 

The butterfish also come in a quite generous portion to our surprise. The fish really did lift up to its name, it was buttery, sweet and melts in your mouth. The fish has been marinated in the miso for a few days and the flavours had enough time to penetrate all the way through.
My friend was full after a few bites so I was left to finish off the remainder of the fish on my own, what a "tough" task to complete isn't it ? (NOT!)
Also love how the pickled radish is made into a cute little white flower, nice touch.

Pickled Radish Flower

Can I have Baby Bento please ?

Sake is a kid friendly restaurant and they even have a special bento set for the little ones on the menu !
Wonder if I could pass a child ? Perhaps not....*darn...*

Banana Harumaki
Banana, Shiso & Caramel Springrolls, Raspberry Apple Dipping Sauce

After polishing off the fish I was very full, but of course could not pass the dessert menu.
We ordered one to share and the banana harumaki sounded interesting.

Dipping Sauce  & Harumaki

I love shiso leaves and it worked quite well with the sweet banana and caramel, it added a very light peppery flavour to the dessert. The dipping sauce tasted more raspberry than the apple and goes well with the crispy harumaki.

Sake Barrels ; Sake Cellar

Sake has indeed exceed my expectation for a Japanese - Western fusion restaurant, the flavours of the dishes though may not be traditional but does worked well together.
I was expecting to pay high price for a tiny portion, but I must say the dishes here are reasonably priced and the serving size are quite generous for some of them.
There were several private booths and sections for group bookings, I can see us coming back again soon for a night out with friends or even with families.

Sake Restaurant & Bar on Urbanspoon


  1. Yummy! Shame about the salmon skin... but the pork belly looks to die for!

  2. Tina : a crispy pork belly can't go wrong I'd say !! ^_^