For those seeking an extraordinary dining adventure, Sydney’s omakase restaurants are a gateway to culinary bliss. Whether it’s the traditional elegance of Besuto, the modern flair of Sokyo, or the intimate experience at Moku, omakase pushes the boundaries of taste and creativity.
Derived from the Japanese phrase meaning “I leave it up to you,” omakase dining is an intimate culinary journey where skilled chefs curate a bespoke menu showcasing the finest ingredients and craftsmanship. Think of it as a 15 or even 24-course meal with bite-sized pieces. If that scares you, don’t worry, each course is perfectly portioned to guarantee you’ll leave satisfied but not bursting at the seams.
That said, here are the best omakase experiences in Sydney.
Peel back the paper-thin red Noren (Japanese curtain) and enter Sydney’s exciting new Japanese restaurant fusing Australian native ingredients in its cocktails and dishes. At Moku, the heart and soul of the dining experience lie in the expertise of Chef Ha Chuen Wai. With a rich background working in some of Sydney’s most esteemed Japanese restaurants, including Sushi E and Sokyo, Chef Wai’s culinary mastery takes centre stage in this terrace-turned-restaurant. With his deft hands and discerning palate, he curates a mesmerising Omakase menu that changes regularly, ensuring a dynamic and thrilling dining experience. Special mention to the yuzu cheesecake served in a palm-sized wooden box. It will have you craving more and then some.
Hidden above the newly opened Quay Quarter Lanes is Besuto, a pint-sized omakase experience, bringing a taste of Japan to a classy yet sultry dining space. Channelling traditional flavours and techniques, this hidden gem offers a 15-course omakase and a front-row seat to all the slicing, dicing, and torching. Pair your dinner with a wine or sake pairing if you’re looking for something different. Keep an eye on their Instagram, as they often do special cocktail collaborations and events, including a Japanese martini with Haku Martini and a Japanese wine pairing.
When it comes to all facets of Japanese cuisine, you can’t look past Chef Chase Kojima. His restaurants across the city are well-known for their flavours and atmosphere, whether it’s a neon-lit ramen joint or the classy and legendary Sokyo in The Star. Speaking of Sokyo, the omakase experience is one of the most sought-after omakase experiences in the city. With only a handful of seats and a hefty price tag, it’s not as easily accessible as others in the city, but it’s phenomenal. Expect 23 courses of the freshest and finest produce. From the melt-in-your-mouth sashimi to the expertly crafted sushi, each dish is a testament to Chef Kojima’s creativity and expertise. You’ll need to enter an online ballot to grab a coveted spot. If drawn, it’s an eye-watering $300 per person.
There is no list of the next omakase experiences without mentioning the restaurant that brought the dining experience to Sydney, Sushi E. While you can usually walk in or book a spot for the a la carte menu, the omakase menu is only available Tuesday, and Wednesday and Thursday nights. It starts at around $230 per person and takes around two to three hours to complete. It’s more than a meal; it’s a piece of theatre. Pull up a stool at the marble counter for your own knife show as the chefs slice and dice the finest cuts of seafood and meat, wrap them around perfectly combined balls of sushi, and brushed them with a combination of soy sauce and a pinch of wasabi.
Most omakase experiences share similarities in the food, atmosphere, and decor. Although when I walked into Rekodo, I had to double check I was in the right place. This Japanese restaurant and bar is stylish and revolves around a captivating soundtrack, courtesy of Rekodo’s exquisite high-end sound system and DJ. At $95 per person for a small omakase and $125 per person for the large omakase experience, it’s quite affordable, given the quality and harbour views. Grab a stool at the chefs counter and start a culinary journey boasting inventive flavours, beyond sushi, including Okonomi-temaki with salmon belly, beef tongue served with pineapple kushiyaki, and yakitori spatchcock drizzled with spicy mayo. Even the drinks have an aura of fun, including sake poured in character-like vessels.