THE COOL CROWD has already arrived. The frontyard verandah is Astroturfed, yet the real bar fun happens in the backyard under the jacaranda tree. Elsewhere all that remains of the old Bayswater Brasserie is the iconic tiled floor in a propitious fit out that includes the most fabulous distressed industrial wallpaper in the private dining room. A large cocktail list (my favourite is Hidden Fortress: Gosslings rum, fresh mint, lime juice, house-made ginger beer) is evolving, and I predict the 24 hour license should see Crane become a popular late night hideout.
More good news: Crane has secured Taichi Ito (with his ambrosial Japanese fusion food) as Executive Chef.
Taichi Ito arrived in Sydney just six weeks ago and already he’s making his mark with what the restaurant describes as Japanese fusion food. The menu has an extensive selection of sashimi, nigiri sushi and sushi rolls as well as half a dozen choices each for seafood, meat and vegetables. The edamame was the best I’ve had, and I was thrilled when the waiter explained to the table how to eat them (just in case they didn’t know.) Chatting briefly with Chef Taichi Ito, I found out he’d previously been at Sake Restaurant and Bar in Brisbane as Executive Sous Chef and at the Stamford Plaza in the same city. His sourcing of produce was impressive, with barramundi from Cone Bay, for example. And speaking of the barramundi, I ate more than my fair share of the central plates of Sea Barramundi White Soy. The white soy and yuzu married beautifully with the raw fish slices, creating a feather light refreshment to help start the dinner. An assortment of sashimi on other platters included creamy scallops, tuna and salmon. I ate more than my fair share of the scallops too. Was I the only one using chopsticks?
The Chicken Karaage teased us next, with light spice in crisp and crunchy batter, coating the delightfully succulent chicken within. A good example of how to fry food. Before that there was fresh Soba Noodles in a salad. Yum. And I really loved the thinly sliced Beef Tataki that came next, with crisp tempura soy beans dotted around the beef: I’ll have to have another visit just to try same of thinly sliced kangaroo. I didn’t ask soon enough, but Chef Taichi Ito tells me it’s his favourite dish.
Crane Bar and Restaurant
32 Bayswater Road, Potts Point NSW Australia
+61 2 9357 3414
An adaption of this article was published as my weekly BAR FLY newspaper column for Alternative Media Group:
City Hub, Bondi View, City News