Posts In: Food

Perched ideally at the north end of the iconic beach – close enough to see the sea lapping across the park, far enough away to escape the din of the main strip — Raw Bar is a treasured local. It’s the kind of place you could rock up to in thongs and board shorts, but the casualness doesn’t extend to the kitchen, which crafts modern Japanese with excellent attention to detail.

The focus here is very much on fresh and clean flavours and sourcing top-notch produce. Sashimi in particular is done with the precision it demands; you can pick from glistening strips of kingfish, salmon or tuna or get a selection of all three in the mixed sashimi (6 pieces $15.50, 12 pieces $24.50). A well-dressed raw bar salad ($16.50) also makes the most of crisp, fresh produce with neatly uniform batons of cucumber and capsicum sitting alongside wilted spinach, tomato, shredded cabbage and avocado in a rainbow-coloured array of flavours.

Sushi is first rate, with options ranging from bite-sized pieces to more substantial inside-out rolls. The Ocean roll is typical of Raw Bar’s neatly presented fare, featuring textbook cuts of raw salmon, avocado and fish roe and a drop of mayonnaise on each piece.

Having served Bondi locals since the mid-’90s, Raw Bar boasts a close-knit team, with many of the floor staff having come across from general manager Karl Misch’s previous gigs at the likes of Longrain and Toko. Head chef Shintaro Honda has lately been adding to his repertoire of classics with new options like plump tempura oysters, which prove to be a treat, the light batter giving way to the briny flesh inside.

Drinks run the gamut from Australian wines to classic cocktails (Bellini, Negroni). There’s some summery originals like a daiquiri which splits the difference between the sweetness of lychees and the piercing clean flavour of fresh ginger, as well as a nicely pulpy pickled ginger mojito stacked with fresh mint (both $14.50).

Round out your meal with a sweet and sticky plum wine or a sake, maybe the aromatic Dassai 39 with notes of cherry blossom, or a number of others which are listed with a helpful sweetness/dryness value. Then all that’s left to do is wander through the palm trees down to the beach and wish you had a local Japanese place this good.

Originally posted by Concrete Playground

Published on February 04 , 2015 by Daniel Herborn

Twenty years ago a cosy corner restaurant at the north end of Bondi Beach started serving Japanese food. In 1995, when that restaurant, RAW BAR first opened, sashimi and sushi were exotic fare for Sydney-siders. Now we see sushi trains everywhere and if you did a spot check on Sydney streets, everyone would know that, for example, sashimi is raw fish.

These days, sashimi platters at RAW BAR start at six pieces and with options at less than fifteen bucks are incredibly keenly priced. You can select just one type of fish, or choose an assortment. Kingfish carpaccio is another light raw fish fresh option for a hot Sydney day – or for any lunch or dinner. But although the restaurant name may hint at it, the menu is not all raw. Go for tempura oysters where the batter keeps the shellfish soft and creamy and just warmed through; the little wave of wasabi mayonnaise and the splash of roe lifted these morsels a little bit higher. RAW BAR eggplant is luscious and popular, as is the yakitori

And you know the go. I’m sure you do. In Japanese cuisine you eat ‘rice’ dishes – like sushi – last. Rice, to finish as it’s filling. Here, we’re particularly fond of the popular RAW BAR inside out sushi.

Of course the beverage list does include a selection of sake, but our lunchtime beverage for our summer visit was an ice cold beer. At the outdoor table next to us, two surfers popped a bottle of Veuve. Just wondering? Just a drink at lunch in the middle of the day – with some RAW BAR sushi and sashimi – between the waves of the morning and the afternoon. With Bondi Beach just across the road, could there be a better way to spend a Friday.