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Sunday, May 01, 2005

Rise, Darlinghurst

EDIT: Rise has now closed

So I've posted on Rise twice before, but on this, my fourth visit to this hidden Darlinghurst gem (and inexplicably, my second in two weeks!), we finally managed to sit at the coveted bench area.

This is where all the action is. Sitting right at the preparation bench area. Front row seating at the Rise kitchen arena. We felt like little kids at a magic show.

And sous chef Massa Yano and his assistant didn't fail to please. Moving smoothly and effortlessly like culinary gymnasts they plated up exquisite works of art with grace and humble deference.

An army of amuse-bouche (semi-poached egg, sea-urchin sauce, salmon roe and shiso)

The preparation bench area

The degustation menu hasn't changed since my second visit two months ago, but we were still moved by the complex simplicity of dishes, the intensity of flavours and the delicacy of presentation.

Not to mention the added bonus of the floorshow. We kept getting distracted by the chefs, murmuring to each other with glee at the speed at which dishes were assembled; the grace with which flying fish roe were scattered randomly; and the quirky precision of tapping the spice shaker on the index finger of the chef's closed palm.

Sous chef Massa Yano adding soy dressing to shot glasses of kingfish

Wasabi-specked kingfish

Lemon-zested salmon

The finished sashimi plate with the (still joyously) fresh zingy oyster.

Halfway through our meal at about 7.00pm, we were amused to see a party of four sit down alongside us at the preparation bench. Weren't these people unforgiveably late? Rise has a strict 6.00pm and 8.30pm seating policy!

Instead Chef Yano seemed to have become starstruck by the distinguished-looking Japanese gentleman with three older women in tow. Japanese celebrity? CEO of Sony? Whoever he was, heads were bobbing up and down everywhere with excitement as Yano went into hospitality overdrive.

We watched with bemusement as Yano suddenly switched his complete and utter attention to the Fab Four. Conversational niceties were continually exchanged and all stops were pulled out for their presentation. Instead of resting on a plated bed of seasalt, their amuse bouche egg perched elegantly on seasalt in a martini glass.

And what do VIPs get on their sushi platter? First their plate is chilled with ice cubes for about five minutes. Then Chef Yano slices their sashimi freshly from fillets in the fridge (the plebs have pre-sliced sashimi on trays prepared earlier).

A sashimi feast is then prepared. Three slices of kingfish, two fat slices of salmon, the oyster and three thin slices of snapper. And for the lady who obviously had a problem with oysters, a shot glass of scored shavings of squid.

Was I envious? Absolutely.

A VIP sashimi platter of snapper, kingfish, oyster and salmon.

Sitting at the bench area definitely highlighted the dining experience. The food is still divine third time round in its current menu: its presentation heightening anticipation, and the sensory proof never failing to disappoint.

We also finally discovered the Rise mantra on the inside of the drinks menu:

To ascend, to begin
To become greater,
To be happy, to flower,
To grow, to live,

23 Craigend Street, Darlinghurst
Tel : 02 9357 1755

Open for dinner Tuesday to Sunday.
Sittings 6.00pm and 8.30pm only

Omakase (degustation) menu: 9 courses for $70 or choose from the a la carte menu.
Degustation still half-price on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Sundays at time of writing.

Bookings essential.
Related GrabYourFork posts:
Rise, Darlinghurst (February 2005)
Rise Darlinghurst (August 2004)
Ocean Room, Sydney
Cooking session with Raita Noda, Ocean Room
9 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Anonymous on 5/01/2005 11:59:00 pm


  • At 5/02/2005 6:00 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    lucky! i loved rise and your fotos just reminded me of the delicious food and now i want to go back!

  • At 5/02/2005 6:02 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    lucky! i loved rise and your fotos just reminded me of the delicious food and now i want to go back!

  • At 5/02/2005 10:30 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The food looks amazing.

  • At 5/03/2005 9:07 am, Blogger Veruca Salt said…

    What a night. So glad I finally got my arse out there.
    Was not too keen on the egg dish. Maybe too much sea urchin roe.
    Standout dishes were the waygu beef and sashimi plate. Sashimi plate was orgasmic. Was the first time I had Kingfish and it was delicious.

  • At 5/03/2005 6:10 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I SO LOVE this place.

    Seeing augustusgloop's post about it reminds me that I must return, and soon.

    Lucky me, I sat at the bench the very first time I got to go. Its mesmerising to watch, then, the best bit. The food goes in your mouth.

    As if it isn't already obvious from augustusgloop's post and yummy photos, you HAVE to go here, if you've already been, go again.

  • At 5/03/2005 8:58 pm, Blogger Reid said…

    Hi AG,

    I meant to ask...do you like Japanese food? =P

    I love it, but don't get out to eat it much. =( This food looks good, and price doesn't seem too bad.

  • At 5/08/2005 5:27 pm, Blogger Ms One Boobie said…

    As usual .. the food looked so yummy..!! I'm drooling.. i tell ya.. ;)

  • At 7/17/2005 9:44 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    that's a great way of presentation.... shot glasses! VIP service by the Japanese is always the best too, though you only got to watch in the sidelines. Glad you enjoyed your food, and I wish Rise was in Australia too!

  • At 7/18/2005 4:44 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Thanks AG *blush*

    Just reread my comment and realised Darlinghurst IS in Australia, and that you're in Sydney... therefore Rise IS in Australia and my comment is inaccurate! LOL! *double blush*

    I hope they'd build a Rise restaurant in Perth then... =)


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