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Sunday, February 06, 2005

Rise, Darlinghurst

EDIT: Rise has closed

I've been to Rise before but we were keen to head there again to take advantage of their wonderful omakase menu at an incredible half-price. Previously available three nights a week, the half-price offer is now only valid on Sunday evenings (6.00pm or 8.30pm sitting) and books out in advance.

The Rise restaurant barely stands out amongst the terraces along this road.

Inside it's rather cosy with a continuation of the blue theme and an open prep kitchen where the chefs assemble intricate artworks on each plate with amazing deftness and lightness of touch.

We were pleased to discover that the omakase menu had changed since our last visit. Excellent. New dances for the tastebuds and an opportunity to take more photos (this time in-focus and using the macro button!).

Semi-poached egg, sea-urchin sauce, salmon roe and shiso

I'm a huge runny egg yolk fan and this was divine. Apart from its jaw-droppingly impressive presentation in its original shell, the yolk was perfectly runny and complimented by delicate jewels of salmon roe and shards of shiso. The French pastry stick was a little buttery but its delicacy matched the trembling egg well.

Lightly seared wagyu beef tataki, young ginger, guacamoli and kochujyan chilli sauce

Wagyu is heaven for carnivores. Tender morsels of tasty marbled beef enhanced by a slightly nutty sauce.

Sesame-scented clear broth with pan-seared crispy snapper, rice cake and yuzu

The soup was simple but elegant. A beautifully peeled perfect baby carrot, tasty mushrooms, nourishing greens and shavings of yuzu citrus. Hidden at the bottom were glutinous mochi treasures and a mouthful of tender snapper.

Salmon in a lemon mustard vinegarette; kingfish with wasabi soy; and oyster with lime dressing

Beautifully presented, this was definitely one of the highlights of our meal. Achingly fresh firm sashimi and an oyster so juicy, so briney, so utterly fresh and tasty, that my mouth is still watering just remembering the explosion of flavour down the throat. The oyster was incredible. It will go down in gastronomic history.

Seasonal plate
Fresh scampi sashimi with finger lime and fleur de sel; RISE-style crispy fried soft shell crab taco; and simmered eel fresh spring roll with cucumber and creme fraiche

The goodness continued. We were pleased to be served the soft shell crab taco partway through our meal, rather than at the start like last time. This enabled to savour the spiciness of the crab contrasting with the refreshing spring onion, sprouts and cucumber and housed within an earth-shattering taco-style shell. Some felt that the taco shell was a little too thick and oily, and that you couldn't really taste the crab, but if you are a deep-fried fan and like it hot, then this RISE signature dish is still a winner.

In complete contrast, the scampi sashimi was delicate, soft and subtle. The eel fresh spring roll combined richness of flesh with creme fraiche and cleansing slivers of tomato and cucumber.

Simmered eel fresh spring roll with cucumber and creme fraiche

RISE-style crispy fried soft shell crab taco

Fresh scampi sashimi with finger lime and fleur de sel

Signature dish
Deep-fried agedashi organic tomato stuffed with foie-gras

The agedashi tomato is the other RISE signature dish. Delicate cooked tomato is stuffed with a tiny cube of foie-gras then coated in potato starch and deep-fried. The tacky gelatinous exterior and the delicate shavings of bonito are always appreciated, although the tiny cube of foie-gras does tend to get lost unless you hunt for it.

The agedashi tomato peeled of its coating and pulled apart to reveal the foie gras.

Main course
Mustard alioli brulee with tarragon; roasted corn-fed chicken; and ruby red grapefruit and spanish onion salad

The chicken was tender, tasty and delicately rolled into the perfect package. Pleasing hints of aniseed and tarragon were also detected. Either side of the chicken one alternated between the sweet thick mustard alioli and the peppery hot but palate-cleansing grapefruit and persimmon.

Mustard alioli brulee with tarragon

Roasted corn-fed chicken

Ruby red grapefruit and spanish onion salad

Rice dish
Fresh tuna and takana tartare sushi canape-style

As a wannabe sushi master this dish was the other highlight for me in this banquet of sensory overload. Perfect sushi rice is one of the hardest things to truly master in my opinion. This sushi rice was just the right combination of stickiness, flavour and firmness of granule.

In addition the sushi was rolled inside-out then topped with fresh marinated tuna chunks and a happy-go-lucky squirt of mayonnaise. Perfect.

Mixed berries in soft-set jelly

Dessert in Japanese cuisine is usually a piece of fruit or something similarly light and refreshing. Small chunks of berries, kiwifruit, nectarine and shards of mint relaxed in a martini glass of clear jelly and provided a fitting conclusion to a gastronomic escapade.

How long do I have to wait before I can go again?

23 Craigend Street, Darlinghurst
Tel : 02 9357 1755

Omakase menu: 9 courses for $70
Currently half-price on Sunday evenings only.

Related GrabYourFork posts:
Rise, Darlinghurst (May 2005)
Rise Darlinghurst (August 2004)
Ocean Room, Sydney
Cooking session with Raita Noda, Ocean Room
8 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Anonymous on 2/06/2005 11:59:00 pm


  • At 2/10/2005 2:12 am, Blogger Sam said…

    beautiful pictures.
    Three of our different friends from CA have gone to work in Oz this year, so we are thinking of making a visit. Maybe next christmas when it is warm again. Last time I was in Sydney, staying near Darlinghurst, I ate the most incredible food wherever I went.

  • At 2/10/2005 7:47 am, Blogger Ms One Boobie said…

    Chef Raita...AG..!!!
    Yes.. amazing food..!!!!! definitely amazing..!!! and half price on SUNDAYS...!!! wow!!!! double wow ..!!!! it's amazing.. coz' i know the chef is rather young... very talented..!!!
    Yer so lucky ..AG.. wished i was in Sydney now.. :)

  • At 2/10/2005 12:01 pm, Blogger Seppo said…

    Wow, really great to know that Rise does a half price deal. They have always been one of my favourite places (it's great to spend three hours or so eating beautiful food), but the price is a bit of a factor.

  • At 2/10/2005 5:53 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    wow your photos are excellent and the food looks beautiful! did you have a voucher for the half price on sunday? -susan

  • At 2/11/2005 4:07 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    AG, the photos are simply spectacular! :) You've outdone yourself this time. Did you spend a lot of time shooting the pictures?


  • At 3/01/2005 1:12 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    All I can say is thanks so much for sharing because I would never have found out about this fantastic restaurant if not for your website... and the half-price deal is trully amazing, I can't believe that this restaurant is so generous!

  • At 3/06/2005 8:14 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Before I get into the food at Rise, if you like your soft-shelled crab, get yourself down to Phamish in Darlinghurst - they have soft-shelled crab on their specials menu at the moment, done like salt and pepper squid. Generous servings and divine with a squeeze of lime!

    Back to Rise -
    I went last weekend. The food was amazing. I completely stuffed up my time and was very late at 6:45 when we were meant to be there at 6pm. The first 3 courses came nearly on top of each other but we weren't complaining.

    Highlights -
    beef tataki
    mochi in the soup
    soft shell crab (first time for s.s.crab and loved it)
    tomato (what a wonderful texture!)

    And all thanks to you AG!

  • At 5/10/2005 3:04 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    So we're going here tonight, do you know if its BYO?


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