Kanade is a new Japanese restaurant in the heart of Sydney's CBD. The menu is made up of delicious sushi rolls, sashimi platters and sushi platters as well as a range of Japanese pastas and salads. But there's more than meets the eye at this Japanese restaurant. Come and see why (and why you should always make friends with the chef!).
The name Kanade means "harmony and the beautiful sounds of instruments" in Japanese. The restaurant is located on Clarence Street in the city and it's busy this Friday night perhaps buoyed by the nearby Vivid festival. The restaurant is designed with red curtains so that people can be sectioned off if they want to and there's also a long, oval bar overlooking the sushi chefs at work too. And if you're hoping to be that customer that gets a special treat, it helps if you are sitting at that bar ;) .
We sip on cocktails - there's one Vivid cocktail with lychee and grapefruit soda, soda water and gin as well as a butterfly pea flower cocktail and watch the chefs at work. At Kanade it pays to make friends with the chef - if the chef likes the cut of your jib (what a funny saying) then you may be the lucky recipient of that day's prize. The prize may be something very special like the extra salmon, tuna or kingfish belly that they sometimes receive. Belly sashimi is a hotly contested cut so it's not always available from their supplier so it doesn't appear on the menu. So when they do receive it sushi chef William gives it to his favourite customers. Prior to working here he worked at Kuon Omakase crafting sushi there. We had a long chat with him when he finished about a lot of topics but especially food and his life.
Spicy Volcano Roll $19
Most of the customers come here for sushi and we are no exception. The spicy volcano roll is filled with crab salad with grilled salmon on top and spicy mayonnaise blanketed over it. It's very moreish and Mr NQN and I fight over the last pieces.
Premium Nigiri Selection $30
The premium nigiri selection is well priced and has 9 pieces of their nigiri plus a few extra all presented in a cloud of dry ice. There's salmon, tuna, kingfish, raw scallop with ikura, unagi or eel, inari and tamago or egg and my favourite one which is pickled and vinegared in a similar way to mackerel is often served. There are also four pieces of tuna maki and four cucumber maki as well as two round salmon balls, one topped with ikura and one with seaweed salad. It's delicious and so fresh and I can see why people order the sushi and sashimi.
Premium Sashimi Set 18 pc $38
The sashimi set is also very tasty with salmon, kingfish and tuna with two freshly shucked Sydney rock oysters that we watch Chef William shucks fresh in front of us. The oysters are topped with a delicious red vinegar and it's a delicious change from just lemon or mignonette dressing.
It's also after this that we watch Chef William take a cloche and smoke some fish. He presents it to us and it is the kingfish belly lightly smoked with pine wood. With one whole kingfish you only get 5 or 6 pieces of belly so it's a real treat to be able to try this. The kingfish belly is so unctuous with a really clear flavour to it highlighted by the pine smoke.
Wakame Salad $14
The wakame salad is actually more green salad than wakame which is slightly disappointing as they have some wonderful seaweed here. When we chat to Chef William he explains that they source their seaweed from 3 regions of Japan. They have green seaweed from Osaka, white seaweed from Hokkaido and red seaweed from Okinawa and he gives us a taste of all of them.
You just dip each piece in soy sauce because they all have different textures and flavour from very mild to strong. White seaweed reminds me of white fungus in texture but has a very mild taste, green has the strongest flavour while red has the most unique slippery texture to it.
Roasted Duck breast, corn salad, sesame miso sauce $28
This duck breast wasn't exactly what I was expecting. The duck breast is served thinly sliced and cold and the corn salad is just a couple of slices of corn kernels. The sesame miso sauce is a brush stroke of black sesame miso sauce that is nice to dip the duck into but it's quite thin so you don't get very much.
Fluffy Miso Cream Carbonara $20
After living in Japan I grew to love Japanese style spaghetti. It always seems to be spaghetti rather than other pasta shapes and here there are four varieties available. I'm tempted by the Mentaiko spaghetti but eventually I am lured by the Japanese version of carbonara with a miso cream, bacon and a perfectly cooked onsen egg and cheese. One the yolk breaks it's coats the pasta well and the miso cream, cheese and bacon season it further. This is a filling pasta dish too.
Wagyu Beef Steak and Yakiniku Sauce $45
When I lived in Japan my then boyfriend and I found this steak place that we loved and living Japan actually made me fall in love with steak. Growing up, a steak was a meat that my mother would always serve well done so that it was a struggle to get down. And this wagyu beef steak reminds me so much of that Japanese steak restaurant. It's a perfectly cooked steak, pink in the centre with a yakiniku sauce and salad in the centre. The beef is succulent and juicy and that sauce brings out its umami quality.
So tell me Dear Reader, do you ever chat to the chef if you're sitting at the bar? Do you like the belly cuts?
NQN and Mr NQN were guests of Kanade but all opinions remain her own.
62 Clarence St, Sydney NSW 2000
Phone: 0487 540 531
Hours: Tuesday to Friday 11 am–2:30 pm, 5:30–9:30 pm
Saturday 5:30–9:30 pm
Sunday & Monday closed