Restaurant review: Kanade brings inspired Japanese cuisine to Sydney

Sydney’s newest addition to the Japanese food scene, Kanade, seeks to unite people through the enjoyment of traditional flavours with fusion leanings.

Nestled in the heart of Sydney’s CBD, Kanade is just a short stroll from Wynyard Station on Clarence Street. I’m welcomed by a smiling hostess and transported to a little slice of Tokyo tucked away within a heritage building. The brick and timber walls are adorned with retro Tokyo vibes, seamlessly blending with red timber columns that emulate the iconic Torii gates of Japan.

tables dining room at kanade sydney
© Kanade Sydney

Traveller: Samantha Rowntree
Address: 62 Clarence St, Sydney NSW 2000
Date: June 2023
Dining style: Japanese
Perfect for: Anything, from a work lunch to a romantic dinner. 
Catering for: Couples, small groups and professional meetings of colleagues. 
Dish to dine for: The soy braised kakuni port and nitamago egg.
Price range Lunch mains range from $25 to $36, while dinner mains from $27 to $98. 
Operating hours Open Monday to Saturday for lunch and dinner.
Website: @kanadesydney

food at kanade sydney
© Kanade Sydney

Red privacy curtains are draped between each table, creating a private dining atmosphere that allows couples and groups of friends to talk freely. Despite the bar staff and waitresses run off their feet, trying to keep up with drink orders, the restaurant felt quiet, moody and intimate. Unsurprising, given the expansive cocktail list is curated by top industry professionals from Maybe Sammy and Tetsuya’s Restaurant. 

bowl of food at kanade sydney
© Kanade Sydney

Kanade’s innovative ‘Tokyo Noon’ and ‘Tokyo Twilight’ concept offers a seamless transition from day to night, reflecting the vibrant energy of Sydney’s CBD. From 4:30pm to 6:30pm Wednesday to Friday, Kanade offers ‘Happi Awa’, an offering that allows guests to sample the signature cocktails and small plates at a fraction of the cost.

sashimi at kanade sydney
© Kanade Sydney

I’m giddy with anticipation as Kanade’s experienced team of chefs have honed their craft across Asia, Europe and Australia in venues such as Kuon Omakase, and michelin-star restaurant LuMi Dining. We start off with the classics. Edamame, karaage chicken and a sashimi platter. The karaage chicken comes with a melt-in-your-mouth yuzu mayo and the chicken is cooked to crispy perfection. The sashimi platter – although a staple in all Japanese restaurants – is the standout of the entrees, the fish tender and soft. 

Pro tip: Enjoy dinner and a show by nabbing yourself a seat at the counter, which offers fantastic views of the chefs preparing sushi. 

cocktails at Kanade sydney
© Kanade Sydney

We order the spicy crispy volcano roll from the special menu. Rolled with salmon and creamy avocado, topped with briskly-seared salmon and doused with spicy mayonnaise. It’s a harmony of flavours that blend together well. 

food at Kanade Sydney

Next, we enjoyed the seared jumbo canadian scallops which were recommended by the waitress – and they did not disappoint. This wouldn’t normally be the first thing I order at a Japanese restaurant (or any, if I’m being honest) but these were so buttery, garnished with a yuzu hollandaise sauce and miso wakame. The first scallop blew me away, so I couldn’t resist stealing the third and final scallop from my partner. 

tables at Kanade sydney

Leaving the best to last, we ordered the soy braised kakuni pork, a dish so tender all i need is a fork to shred the meat into the sauce and serve over rice. The menu has a great mixture of textures and tastes, giving traditional Japanese dining a modern twist. The team of accomplished chefs bring their expertise together, creating an innovative and exciting new dining experience in Sydney.

Menu at Kanade sydney

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