Sakana-Ya might as well be renamed Low-Ya considering the frequency in which my family goes there. Birthdays? Sakana-Ya. Celebratory event? Sakana-Ya. Weekend dinner for when someone is too lazy to cook? Sakana-Ya. I love daily routines like getting up at 6 am and brushing my teeth while I’m letting conditioner set in my hair but going to the same restaurant over and over again would drive me mad. Well it would, if Sakana-Ya wasn’t so freaking awesome.
Sakana-Ya means “fishmonger” in Japanese, an apt name for a restaurant that serves some of the freshest seafood I have ever had in Sydney. It’s nothing like your Sokyo which is edgy, modern and fusion. The Sakana-Ya restaurant itself isn’t flashy at all with wooden sliding doors and a very minimalistic outfit. Think ageing off-white walls, black and comfortable seating plus one or two Geisha-adorned partitions. The mixed platter above takes a heavy swing at most wallets but it’s well worth the price for the freshness. I’d like to call out the maguro in particular that’s practically a fluorescent red and the plump and juicy scampi meat.
I’m not too sure if this was meant to be a salad or just a serving of soft-shell crab. My dad had done all the ordering and I think most of it came off a specials menu that changes almost daily. The crab was piping hot, good for crispiness but bad for impatient eaters like myself. I’m a bit of a prawn cracker snob, in the sense that I don’t really eat restaurant servings because we can get them made fresh back in Malaysia and they’re also not the colour of artificial fluorescent pink. But this doesn’t stop the rest of my family (read: Adrian) from scarfing these down for crunch x crunch pairings.
Another one off the specials menu, I think the batter for this is much lighter than what they do at western restaurants.
Pretty more-ish and went very quickly amongst the ravenous Lows.
Teriyaki is one of those things that are really underrated because of its abundance and how it’s associated with bastardised Japanese food. Kind of like sweet and sour pork and kung pow chicken I guess. But I truly believe that it is possible to get good teriyaki, so good that it’s worth ordering even at a traditional Japanese restaurant. This is one of them!
I only realised during my recent trip to Japan that unagi is actually a really fatty type of fish made worse with the sweet sticky sauce. But unagi is so good, I could eat three bowls of rice with it!
I really liked the cut of the wagyu here as it wasn’t too melt-in-your-mouth as I like a bit more chew to my meat.
I think this comes complimentary if you order the giant sashimi platter with scampi. Scampi heads really elevate miso soup to be something truly incredible.
The main event at Sakana-Ya is the holy mother of bara sushi. This is honestly one of the most majestic things I have had the pleasure to sit in front of at a dining table. The foundation of bara sushi is sushi rice mixed in with various pieces of nori and fresh sashimi, mostly salmon and tuna. Above is shredded omelette, ikura, cucumber, fresh shrimp and a tiny bit of ginger. And topping it all of is sweet, sweet tamagoyaki. This is what I want my bed to be made from.
Sakana-Ya is a Japanese wonderland in Crow’s Nest. It’s the perfect place to go for good quality feed without the noise and busyness that most city restaurants come as a set package with. Well, except when you see a long-assed table with 15 to 20 Asians ranging from ages 3 to 80 fighting for the last piece of toro. That’s when you know you’ve found the Low clan. Come say hi.