I was in Sydney a couple of weekends ago for all of 24 hours in order to attend a one day veterinary surgical workshop with one of my work colleagues. I am ashamed to admit this was one of the only occasions where I have not researched and plotted where to eat beforehand. I landed in Sydney on Friday afternoon, became flustered after dealing with the notoriously bad Sydney cabbies and madly rushed about to get ready for dinner. We decided to eat early and take our chances with no booking.
Walking around Surry Hills indeed makes you realise how far Brisbane has yet to come in the food stakes (light years). There is just about a restaurant on every corner, more in fact. I fumbled with my phone for a while and somehow came up with Izakaya Fujiyama, a bar/restaurant serving izakaya style food, that is tasty share plates of pub style food to munch on whilst having a beverage or two.
Turns out Izakaya Fujiyama don’t take bookings anyway. Our early arrival at 6pm was advantageous, being the second table seated, we watched the restaurant completely fill up over the course of an hour.
We were presented with menus and a handwritten daily specials menu which looked cool in a crazy Japanese cartoony way. I was wowed by the immense Sake list (over 100 varieties) but in the end we decided to go with beer, Asahi that was fresh out of the taps.
I got pretty excited over ordering mostly meat dishes and unfortunately didn’t order any of the sashimi or sushi plates that looked fresh and beautiful coming out of the kitchen.
We had some edamame to start whilst deciding on what to order, unfortunately they were probably just a tad oversteamed, but heavily salted as they should be.
Prawn and chicken steamed wontons had a piping hot delicious filling and were covered in a tart ponzu sauce with loads of chives. I was starving and these worked just the treat to line my stomach, but were just a little too large to be one mouthful.
Next up was Kenji’s Fried Chicken, a take on karaage chicken. Lightly battered and deep fried golden morsels of moist chicken, accompanied by a housemade mayonnaise and a chunk of lemon to squeeze over, these were irresistible.
Braised wagyu oxtail with a beetroot and barley salad was on the specials menu. The oxtail was fatty, but in a good way that melted away in your mouth. The accompanying salad added a fresh component to the dish, and had shredded morsels of meat throughout as well, so it was sort of wagyu in two ways.
Our final dish was crispy pork belly with yuzu pepper. This was absolutely delicious, perfect crispy crackling atop juicy meat. The accompanying yuzu was extremely spicy, so I only had a little to taste. There was another pork belly dish on the main menu which was steamed, so I was glad we ended up choosing the crispy pork belly.
After this, any further dishes or dessert was not an option, we were that full of good food. The restaurant was loud and full, and there were patrons outside wanting tables so we decided not to linger for too long and departed to have an early night. I was definitely pleased with my find, this place is certainly a fantastic place to have a few drinks and share some food with friends.
CIzakaya Fujiyama Shop G09, 38-52 Waterloo Street Surry Hills Ph 02 9698 2797 Open Mon-Sat for Dinner only www.izakayafujiyama.com