Monkey Magic – New York style Japanese in Surry Hills
MiSociety on dining out
Looking for a Japanese restaurant in Sydney?
Comfortably seated at a double table by one of the two windows on the upper level in this New York warehouse styled eatery the other banquet style tables stretched out beyond us . The interior of Monkey Magic is stylish and modern and reasonably dark conveying a warm glowing ambience for diners.
For starters nibbles we tried the ‘Renkon Chips’, made from lotus roots and any trip to Monkey Magic should definately include these addictive crunchies. We then opted to try tasting dishes from the entree list. First up, ‘Crab Leaves’ (crab meat on betel leaf with amazu ponzu included in the dressing) – unusual and very tasty. Next came the ‘Prawn Noodle & Salad Prawns’ (with mushrooms and a soy and truffle dressing), very tasty but a little salty for us. Then arrived the ‘Oxtail Tortellini’ (with seared scallops and wasabi jus), this was certainly worth the try for it’s originality although we felt the tortellini just a little soft. Lastly came the ‘Caramelised Pork Lettuce Cup’ (with roasted tomato with nam jim salsa), delicious, tasty and fresh on the palate.
For the first main act we selected the ‘Seared Pepper Crusted Tuna’ (with eggplant, miso puree, marinated red pepper and white anchovy salad), the pepper topping on the tuna was excellent and of a perfect constituancy. Main number two was the ‘Terryaki Chicken’ (with more of the fabulous ‘Renkon Chips’), no complaints here.
We would not normally focus on deserts when visiting a Japanese restaurant but Monkey Magic’s host, Hidetoshi Tsubot, was so keen for us to sample the ‘sweets’ here we shared the ‘Nashi Pear and Apple Pithiviers with Coconut Butterscotch and Vanilla Ice cream’ – now how could anyone really resist a desert with this title and we advise – go for it - it was absolutely stunning. Just managing to pop in a few more mouthfuls along came the ‘Chocolate Pudding’ (freshly prepared by order with fresh stawberries and a vanilla whipped marscapone), this was nothing short of sensational as well.
The Monkey Magic wine list makes for good reading with a pleasing varietal selection of both Australian and imported wines. MiSociety spotted and old favourite from France the ‘Pouilly Fume’ on the list and couldn’t resist a trip down memory lane with this tipple.
Having elected to dine early this Saturday night as we left Monkey Magic the eatery had filled to bursting with further patrons waiting downstairs in the street level bar so we would strongly suggest booking ahead. Worth noting also is that there is a function area here that is nearing completion. Monkey Magic websiteShare
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