Saké fires up the menu with robata flavours

Saké Restaurant & Bar is enriching the menu with ancient fireside flavours of robatayaki and the addition of creative new dishes that celebrate the traditional cooking technique.

A new robata menu section will launch across Saké restaurants in Sydney and Melbourne from mid-June, commenced at Saké Double Bay on Tuesday 14th June.

Delightful new robata flavours bolster Saké’s world-class reputation for innovative raw dishes, including sashimi and sushi. Traditional smoke-infused flavours and hints of char from the charcoal-fired robata grill blend with the contemporary spin on Japanese cuisine for which Saké is renowned.

The menu additions are overseen by second-generation Japanese Chef Shimpei Hatanaka who has worked for Saké for over a decade. He was promoted to Saké Brand Culinary Chef in April, taking responsibility for the culinary direction of all five Saké restaurants.

Shimpei has combined forces with Hunter St. Hospitality Culinary Director Corey Costelloe who contributes a deep knowledge of the art of char-grilling following a 12-year career at the iconic Rockpool Bar & Grill. Corey’s expertise with the Rockpool wood-fire grill and Shimpei’s understanding of the traditional robata grill will fuel innovative dishes and flavours across the Saké menu. New menu highlights include:

• Skewers of King Brown mushrooms, which are scored and grilled on high heat to lock in delicious smokiness before being glazed with a yuzu soy sauce that adds an irresistible burnished flavour

• Ribbons of Rangers Valley Wagyu are zigzagged onto skewers and grilled on high heat to intensify the smokiness. A sesame glaze caramelises without obscuring the subtle smoke infusion

• Negima yakitori chicken skewers are cooked over medium heat to bring out the sweetness of shallots that are interlaced with chicken thigh meat before being brushed with soy glaze

• King Prawns are butterflied and grilled on highest heat to maximise char, then smeared with kombu butter and sprinkled with the juice of Japanese citrus fruit sudachi

• Berkshire pork cutlet borrows from the Rockpool technique of grilling over high heat, resting over low heat and finishing on high heat to maximise time on the grill and smoke infusion. A sticky Okinawa black sugar glaze complements a yuzu marmalade accompaniment

• Tajima Wagyu striploin with kombu and nori

• Short rib with yakiniku soy, white kimchi, sesame seeds and burnt lime

• Lobster with kombu butter, sudachi, rayu, crustacean oil

Shimpei said a unique aspect of the Saké robata technique is to grill over charcoal smoke and finish with hay smoke, which infuses ingredients with two layers of smokiness.

“We’ve dedicated an exceptional and enjoyable amount of time to our robata research and development in order to secure the best dining experience for guests,” Shimpei said.

Corey said it was a pleasure to work side-by-side Saké’s Japanese cooking experts and to witness a fusion of Eastern and Western grilling techniques that elevated the dining experience.

“It’s an honour to coach the Japanese culinary contingent at Hunter St. Hospitality and contribute techniques that we have mastered at Rockpool Bar & Grill to their new robata menu,” Corey said.


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