Osaka Bar

Jackie McMillan
16th Sep 2023

While the mini kaiseki menu ($80/head) at Osaka Bar might not fill you up, it’s a chance to get amongst Sydney’s Japanese omakase experiences without the $200+ price tag. Chef Kazu Nakatani also offers you the opportunity to supplement this five-course mini degustation with items from the daily nigiri selection, or the wider menu. If, like me, you have expensive taste, and choose to add on hand-rolls of Hokkaido sea urchin ($30/piece) and grilled Shimanto eel ($15/piece) plucked from the clear, cold spring water of the Shimanto river, the bill will of course add up. While I was happy to experience grilled French foie gras on delicate scampi ($12/piece) and creamy cuttlefish ($15) topped with caviar, my dining companion felt that with a bill over $400 he shouldn’t have left hungry. 

The eighty-buck menu starts with a bang: leafy greens (mizuna mibitashi) topped with Western Australian blue swimmer crab, bottarga and trout caviar. Moving through a very pretty shell of Paspaley pearl meat ceviche with gold leaf, Asian yam potato and hard-to-pick-up cubes of dashi jelly, the savoury courses end with a petite pair of wagyu-katsu sandos made on Akipan’s Japanese bread. In the middle you get to choose between saikyo miso-cured A5 Kagoshima Wagyu tenderloin and Glacier 51 toothfish treated with the same. Both are delicious, but the wagyu (normally $70) arriving on a smoking platform is definitely the winner. I do however feel strongly that plastic items resembling food should never be put on plates. 

Kazu’s wife, Mari Nakatani, a certified sake sommelier, will guide you through your drinking journey. We liked her recommended Churyumov329 Yamahai Junmai ($145/720ml) from Shigu prefecture well enough, with it lasting through to the warm and gooey chestnut hojicha chocolate cake finisher.