Thursday, May 7, 2009

Special Magazine Designer Duo Guest Blog - Inside Out's Grace Lee and Country Style's Zoe Doyle

Today I have a special treat from two of my favourite Designers / Japan lovers in my office. I am so excited to say that today Hello Sandwich brings you lovely graphics by talented illustrator Grace Lee (see more of her here and here) and a shiny rice report by writer in the making Zoe Doyle. I hope you will enjoy!

The Shiny Rice Quest by Zoe Doyle

Why is it that anywhere in Japan, even in the most simple of cafes, the rice is always made to perfection? So perfect that even a dessert fiend like me, comes to the conclusion that I could happily live solely on plain rice alone? Good gohan (cooked Japanese rice) should be perfectly sticky, have a glossy sheen and leave you feeling cleansed from consuming a bowl of it. I always struggle coming back to Sydney each year after a trip to Japan as for some reason, our rice just doesn't compare so in my Sydney search for the best 'shiny rice', as I like to call it, here are my top North-side mid-price range picks for the best rice that will make you think you could live on rice alone forever.

Makato Chatswood
Makoto Sushi Bar is probably my favourite Japanese restaurant in Sydney. The lovely manager Sara always welcomes with a huge grin and the staff are ultra attentive. All sushi and food at Makato is brilliant, but their rice is my top Sydney pick. They use a special seasonal blend including Koshihikari and Hikari rice cooked to sticky yet separate grained perfection. The sushi Makato is truly famous for is beyond delicious and very creative. The wait can be a while after you put your name on the list as they don¹t take bookings, so give yourself an extra 10-20 minutes waiting time, but trust me Makato is always worth the wait!
336 Victoria Avenue, Chatswood. Ph: (02) 9411 1838.
(Hello Sandwich's note: I also love Makoto in the city! Oishii!)

Minato Manly
Minato is a humble little restaurant opposite the legendary Manly Wharf. Minato is quintessentially Japanese, simple settings, dark wood floors, beautiful ceramics on display with smooth jazz playing and hidden inside the origami bow on your plate is a new Japanese phrase to learn! Minato is in my opinion the best Japanese on the Northern Beaches, I have friends who travel up to an hour just to eat at this little restaurant! They do some great rice here, although the rest of the menu is delicious as well. My favourites are the seafood platter, which starts with a huge mix of sashimi, nigiri, sushi, salmon and avocado salad, then followed by another tray of tempura, handmade fishcakes and scallops. The Minato roll is also especially tasty, and they do a mean Agedashi tofu which is my ichi ban favourite. Of course, all these dishes are to be enjoyed with a bowl of steaming white rice. Oishii!
47 East Esplanade, Manly. Ph: (02) 9977 0580.

Onaka suita? (hungry?)
Here are a few favourite Sydney Japanese restaurants brought to you by Hello Sandwich:

Wafu Organic, gluten free, dairy free and no refined sugar
Ichi ban boshi Try Olivia's favourite - Hiyashi chuka (which I mentioned here)
Ton Ton Azuma's version of Takeaway - you will love the bento boxes!
Azuma Yasu! Can we please go here for my birthday?
Yoshii or here?
Tetsuya's Say no more
Don don I used to love the healthy California don, which was basically a California roll in a bowl, but now I fear that they have changed owners and the food is not the same :( zan nen!
Sushi bar rashai An authentic Annandale favourite
Sushi suma Cheap and Cheerful Surry Hills Japanese
Sushi samuri Another Cheap and Cheerful one with special teishoku lunch box sets
Ryotei Amazing ramen and onigiri (P.S.While you are over the other side of the bridge, why don't you stock up on Japanese groceries at Tokyo Mart. Complete with a $2.50 section similar to a 100 Yen store in Japan where you can buy kitchen ware, stationery and other home goods - yes please!
Komachi My first Japanese teacher's favourite Japanese restaurant in Sydney! Can you take the ramen challenge?

Well lovelies, I hope you have enjoyed today's post and aren't left feeling too hungry! And if you have a favourite Japanese restaurant anywhere in the world it would be so wonderful if you could leave it in the comments below! Onegaishimasu!

Very special thanks to Miss Gracie and Miss Zoe for your lovely Hello Sandwich contribution! I hope there is many more to come!

Love Love
Hello Sandwich


  1. Hello lovelies! I have had some yucky blog troubles today and unfortunately I lost all of my comments on this post :(

    But please find below the comments that I have copied and pasted.

    Thank you so much everyone for your lovely comments! and wow Miho - you posted about me! Amazing! Arigatou! xxx

    Love love
    Hello Sandwich

    From a sow's ear said: (chant) Hell-o sandwich! hell-o sandwich.

    blog guests!?- you are truly the blog hostess with the mostest. oh love, had you and zoe not befriended me, i'd never have known how gorgeous you both are!! (would have most likely admired from afar....)

    thanks for the brilliant tip-offs, and zoe- i love your reviews.. 'shiny gohan' came in a vision just from reading your work!

    EB, thank you so much for your endless support...

    ps: i like your new belt!

    Fanmakimaki said: Yummy yummy (In Spanish is ñam ñam)

    My favourite japanase restaurant is in Madrid called Janatomo. Have a look here

    It is managed by an old japanese couple. I always invite my asian customers to this restaurant.

    Also I like Pinksushiman (here some pics )

    And Abroad, my favourite is one in Singapore, but I don't remember the name. I know exactly where it is :)

    Zoe said: Aw all your lovely blog followers are so sweet hello sandwich!And grace thankyou for the lovely illos!If anyone is over the northside of the bridge i would also highly recommend for the best all round Japanese cuisine Jugemu & Shimbashi, 246 Military rd, Neutral bay, and meet the lovely Ricky!They make their own soba noodles by hand and have an amazing teppanyaki bar!douzo omeshiagari kudasai!xx

    Leah said: Hello Zoe,
    Another good Japanese is Asakusa in Newtown - cheap and cheerful. Sticky tables but great sashimi :)
    See you soon,
    Leah x

    Mads said: This is so great! I think I will try Tokyo Mart out, as I am living over the bridge ATM! x

    Miho Sakato said: すごいです! you know japanese food than me!;-)

    look at "YOU":

    Laure said: i loveeee food! great post!! i've tried abt half of them, got to explore the rest one by one! yummm...

  2. Jujus (goody and delicious!) in Kings Cross, Fujiya in Chinatown, Wasavie in Paddington.

  3. Cute post! I am yet to try 'shiny rice' in Japan. Hoping to get to Tokyo this year and your post has really excited me about trying it! :)

  4. so great! so now i know where to go in sydney for some prime-o 日本料理:)

    soy in NY city. one of the best, most cutest japanese places going! and as for back home melbourne, maybe i can pop up some ii-ne-kore recommends places sometime?! now that sounds like a plan.
    have a great weekend

    Thought you would love this on remodelista

  6. Some shiny-rice visual candy from Grace and some top culinary picks from Zoe & Ebony - perfect! All these exciting Japanese places to add to the to-try list! I love it!

    This reminds me of when a group of friends and I had a "Japanese-off", where we all nominated our favourite Japanese place and took turns having dinner at different ones before deciding on a "winner" (although everyone was a dinner for getting to eat such delicious ramen and agedashi tofu every week!) Komachi and Sushi Bar Rashai are my favourites, although I do have a soft spot for the bento-box-sized restaurant that is Nazimi
    ( - shameless mention, tut tut) and Cafe Ish for their Japanese-meets-Oz cafe unpredictability & greatness - Japanese omelettes with local greens, green tea muffins with lemon myrtle and white chocolate. Yum.

  7. Oh, so cool! You've so luck, you deserve it :) May I ask you a question? What do you do? What's your job? You're a designer?

  8. Thanks rara chan! I like Ju ju's too! But sometimes I find the service terrible! But Wasave is great isn't it! Oishii! Thank you so much for your comment!

    Hello Christie! Oh yes you have to try Shiny Rice! You will love it! When will you go to Japan? You will have an amazing time!

    Hello lovely Ii-ne-kore! :) Yes onegaishimasu! I would love a Melbourne Japanese post! Next time I am in Melbourne I can go to all of them! xxx
    Hope you had a lovely weekend sweetest girl! Love Love Hello Sandwich xxx

    Hello Rebecca! Yes I love it! I will have to try Farmers Table! Thank you soooo much for your lovely link! That was so sweet of you! xxx

    Hello cute Lee Tran! How are you love? Thank you for your lovely long comment! Lets have some Japanese together soon! Or you should come over to our apartment for some Japanese soon!:)

    Hello Maca! Thank you for your comment. That is so sweet of you! Yes I am a magazine designer!
    I hope you had a lovely weekend.

    Love love
    Hello Sandwich