At Kazan New Martin Place, Japanese dishes are “rearranged” and given “surprise twists”

Kazan Dining honors the fine details of classic Japanese cooking: delicious flavours, first-class ingredients, and exquisite presentation.

“Our chef, Shinya Nakano (formerly Kisumi in Melbourne), was trained by fifth-generation sushi connoisseurs in Kyoto. Co-owner of the elegant Japanese restaurant, Kiehyon Yoo, just opened at 25 Martin Place (formerly MLC Centre) in Kyoto. Sydney CBD: He’s a sushi master, which requires years of training.She joins other new venues at the center including Aalia, Cabana Bar and Botswana Butchery.

Although Yu describes Nakano’s style as “traditional,” the list walks a clear line between classic and creative. Nigiri made with hiramasa king fish, Hokkaido scallops, aburi salmon belly or otoro (tuna belly) is enhanced with a garnish like butter nori. And the maki (sushi rolls), including the number of tuna and cucumber, are finished with a salty, sour, pickled shibazuki sauce and crunchy curry leaves.

“It reinterprets classic dishes, rearranging them and giving them an amazing twist,” says Yu. For example, ebi [prawn] Tempura is served with soy dashi and house-made salts that completely change the flavor of the prawns while enhancing the visual experience. One is a burnt yellow curry salt, and the other is a bright purple plum salt.”

The robata (barbecue) menu expands Nakano’s creativity with ingredients that sometimes reference Kazan Canberra’s sister venue, the famous Nikki (Japanese-Peruvian) restaurant Inka. 9+ Marbled Wagyu Scotch Fillet Balanced With Miso Tomatoes, Daikon Ponzu And Sancho Peppers. Lamb cutlets are served with aji amarillo (yellow pepper), while jalapeño and feta sauce is served with charcoal grilled zucchini. There’s also black angus beef served with foie gras and honey garlic soy, as well as complimentary chicken breast with garlic miso and tamago onsen (slow-cooked eggs).

The wine list spans Europe, Australia and New Zealand, and cocktails include Kyoto, made with green sake, Japanese vodka, lime juice, kiwi and cucumber, and Kazan, a citrus Sgroppino blend featuring yuzu, lychee, umeshu rum and Japanese vodka.

The delicacies on the menu don’t deter the drama in place. The open kitchen simulates a Noah theatre. It’s part of the necessity – the architects had to work around the heritage-listed Harry Seidler design. The lofted kitchen is surmounted by a kumiko-inspired geometric joinery ceiling (assembled without nails) that resembles a tree canopy. Banquet chairs and leather chairs reflect the room’s elegant curves, and the private dining room is decorated with hanging carved glass that mimics fallen autumn leaves.

Given Inka’s success in Canberra, it might make sense to open a version of Sydney before doing something like Kazan. Yu says while they were actively searching for a home for Sydney Inka, 25 Martin Place wasn’t the place to be.

“The Inka in Canberra is such a visual blast. When we make the Inka in Sydney – and really look at the locations – we want a lot of space to make a big impact. This wasn’t the place for it. Kazan is intimate, it’s thinner.”

Kazan dinner
Level 8.01, 25 Martin Place, Sydney

Tuesday to Saturday from 12 noon to 3 pm; 5.30 pm – 10.30 pm
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