Saké Restaurant & Bar is bringing new dishes to the mix courtesy of Tokyo-travelled and self-declared Japanophile, Chief Brand and Culinary Officer, Neil Perry AM.
Drawing inspiration from a recent trip to Japan, Neil's new dishes balance washoku – or traditional Japanese food – with Saké's much-loved contemporary spin and sense of fun.
Neil's devotion to the finest Australian ingredients and sustainable practice shines through the menu, which showcases the work of some of the country's most admirable producers.
"We want our loyal customers to fall in love with Saké all over again," says Neil. "We're offering them another reason to keep coming back by taking them on a journey of rediscovery.
"My new additions focus on tradition while still being contemporary and fun and heroing everything that is celebrated about Japanese cuisine: produce, quality, seasonality and freshness."
Neil's signature dishes include:
Cape Grim short rib bo ssam: a Japanese twist on a traditional Korean dish with the addition of red miso and chilli, and a smack of umami from dashi-simmered confit garlic
Glacier 51 Toothfish with miso butter: the ultimate choice in sustainability, Glacier 51 Toothfish is glazed in a classic Japanese miso marinade, wrapped in bamboo leaf, roasted, unfurled in front of the guest and drizzled with miso butter
Scampi tartare: slithers of exquisite scampi are marinated in soy, dotted with trout roe, sprinkled with togarashi and served on a texturally delicious konbu rice cracker
Nori crisps tuna & kingfish: jewel-like cubes of Marine Stewardship Certified tuna and kingfish are marinated in white soy and mirin, lifted with a touch of togarashi and served with green onion and a light sesame dressing
Ginger garlic chicken: crisp-fried free range chicken, chopped Asian style, and sprinkled with charred spring onions
The dishes are complemented by new seasonal cocktails that showcase food-friendly flavours and feature traditional Japanese ingredients.
Japanese Shoemaker: matches Amontillado sherry with rich and fruity loganberry jam and yuzu to form a sweet and sour style of drink with salty and nutty overtones
Sesame Yaki: Red rice sake forms the body of the drink and bitter vermouth, Italian cherry liqueur, vodka and citrus bitters complete the balance. A drop of aromatic dark sesame oil ties it all together
Maple Leaf: house made grenadine is spiced with shichimi and shaken with shiso, white rum and egg whites for a silky smooth consistency and a lingering spicy, herbaceous finish
Rockpool Dining Group National Premium Beverage Manager Ryan Gavin said: "The focus is on developing cocktails that resonate with and contrast Japanese cuisine, which offers many rich, savoury and salty dishes that contain lots of umami.
"We have replicated that savouriness in the cocktail offering. There is also a strong focus on using traditional Japanese ingredients such as yuzu, sake, shiso, shichimi and umeboshi."