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Friday, August 31, 2018

Bang Bang Izakaya Bar, Steam Mill Lane, Darling Square

Bar seating at Bang Bang Japanese Izakaya Bar in Steam Mill and Darling Square Sydney

Kampai! That's the chorus you'll hear inside the newest addition to Steam Mill Lane, Bang Bang. You'll find snacks - large and small - and plenty of drinks at this izakaya, the Japanese version of a casual pub. Go light with sashimi or order a heavier Japanese curry or deep fried prawn burger and wash it all down with everything from whisky highballs to rice lager to nashi pear liquor.

Entrance and stool seating at Bang Bang Japanese Izakaya Bar in Steam Mill and Darling Square Sydney
Entrance to Bang Bang

The restaurant design is ingenious, linking multiple dining zones within a relatively small space. A narrow entrance immediately brings visions of a back alley of Shinjuku. Head past the wooden high stools and hanging lanterns overheads to find the main bar area, a chaotic but wondrous assault on the senses. To the left is a glassed in booth ideal for groups, complete with music video screens and optional karaoke. The secret area is right at the back - hidden behind the hanging curtains is a traditional tatami room for anyone with the flexibility to sit cross-legged on the floor.

Kobore chirashi at Bang Bang Japanese Izakaya Bar in Steam Mill and Darling Square Sydney
Kobore chirashi $16.80

We start with the kobore chirashi, a mix of raw seafood on top of sushi rice. Kobore means "spill", translated here to an artful cascade of salmon, tuna, kingfish, prawn and tobiko flying fish roe over a hillock of seasoned sushi rice. It's not the easiest dish to eat - we lose a prawn off the bamboo platform before enacting the "five second rule" - and the tobiko is hard to pick up with chopsticks, but there's plenty to interesting tidbits to pick through, including spongy yellow cubes of tamago omelette.

Lava omurice at Bang Bang Japanese Izakaya Bar in Steam Mill and Darling Square Sydney
Lava omurice $15.80

Despite the pictorial depiction and description of a "split to open omelette", the theatrical reveal of cutting the folded omelette has already been done in the kitchen rather than at the table. Other than that, the lava omurice delivers on the comfort food front, the shimmering folds of barely cooked egg drenched with a glossy demi glace sauce.

Inside the lava omurice at Bang Bang Japanese Izakaya Bar in Steam Mill and Darling Square Sydney
Ketchup fried rice inside the omelette

Nestled underneath the blanket of omelette is a mound of ketchup fried rice, sweet but not overly so. It's the kind of dish you want to snuggle up, savouring the slightly chewy rice against the silky omelette and rich brown sauce.

Tebasaki pepper soy sauce fried chicken wings at Bang Bang Japanese Izakaya Bar in Steam Mill and Darling Square Sydney
Bang Bang tebasaki $9.80 for 5 pieces

Tebasaki chicken wings follow the classic Nagoya recipe, fried twice and covered in a sweet and savoury soy pepper glaze. It's messy but tasty eating. We ordered the small serve but if you're with a crowd you could justify a mountain of 15 pieces for $27.80.

Mentaiko cream udon at Bang Bang Japanese Izakaya Bar in Steam Mill and Darling Square Sydney
Mentaiko cream udon $13.80

Mentaiko pasta has always been a favourite of mine, the salty intensity of pollock roe adding an umami hit to carbs. Here the usual spaghetti is swapped out for udon. It makes for a chewier experience let down only by the sparsity of sauce. There's barely a glimmer of saltiness and even less heat.

Karubi don at Bang Bang Japanese Izakaya Bar in Steam Mill and Darling Square Sydney
Karubi don $18.80

But all is right with the world when the karubi don arrives, fatty slices of wagyu rib eye fillet (graded 8 to 9+) on top of rice. The beef is ridiculously tender, cooked in a caramelised barbecue sauce that works so well with plain rice.

Japanese drink vending machine at Bang Bang Japanese Izakaya Bar in Steam Mill and Darling Square Sydney
Drinks vending machine with Pocari Sweat, green tea and pokemon soft drinks

Don't forget to swing by the vending machines at the back for a can of Pocari sweat. And if you're in too much of a hurry to join the suits in a round of biiru, a counter at the front - complete with sampuru plastic food replicas - allows you to order your teriyaki chicken burger to go.

Plastic Japanese food display at Bang Bang Japanese Izakaya Bar in Steam Mill and Darling Square Sydney


Bang Bang Izakaya Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bang Bang
14 Steam Mill Lane, Darling Square, Haymarket, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 8591 7818

Opening hours
Daily 11.30am-10.30pm


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posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 8/31/2018 12:51:00 am


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