In Short: Hicksons Izakaya blends authentic Japanese flavours with modern inspiration all with a focus on quality in a stunning setting. Tip: Without a doubt, treat yourself to the scallops. They’re some of the best, period.
Nestled in the calming enclave of Sydney’s Walsh Bay is a relaxed, yet sophisticated, take on the taste of Japan. Hicksons Izakaya bills itself as a ‘Japanese tapas experience’ that draws from authentic and modern influences to deliver on, what we think equals, some of the best meals we’ve had on our trips to the land of the rising sun.
With the talented chef Hiro Kano at the kitchen’s helm, Hicksons Izakaya has a wealth of traditional Japanese culinary skills that provide a strong foundation for the modern elements that bring the tapas-style menu to life.
Greeted and seated by Hicksons Izakaya’s super friendly and welcoming owner Omar, we let the kitchen know that we’re putting our lunch selections in their expert hands. And within minutes, Camilla, our endlessly accommodating server, has a plethora of platters poised for our palates. The first of the feast comes in the form of the fresh and perfectly fatty salmon sashimi. With the taste of the ocean in every tender bite, it’s clear that quality is a focus at Hicksons Izakaya.
I’m a closet pork belly connoisseur, so when a succulent slice of the slow cooked braised pork belly slid onto the table, I quickly pulled it my way. Pork belly is won, or lost, on the right ratio of fat to meat, and this stack hit that magic balance right on the money. With a light glaze of traditional flavours, it’s simply sublime.
Ok, so this next dish really sealed the deal for me, and made me realise that Hicksons Izakaya is a cut above your usual Sydney Japanese fare. A trio of scallops, that I’d honestly have to say are the most perfectly cooked examples I’ve had to date, grace the table. They are so unbelievably tender that the texture in the mouth is like creamy butter. Crowned with sparkling roe, there’s a pop with every buttery bite.
Priming us for the next dish, a delicate and almost tea-like miso soup is the perfect intermission in this stunning banquet.
Saving the fireworks finale for last, the Hicksons Izakaya kitchen crew blows us away with a mosaic of flavours in the Chicken Teriyaki Bento Box. A rainbow of colourful compartments hold little treasures of sushi, salad, sashimi, edamame, noodles, and more.
Omar and the rest of the Hicksons Izakaya team have made a mark in the Walsh Bay precinct, and raised the bar for quality and accessible Japanese cuisine in the Sydney foodscape.
*Coco & Vine dined as guests of Hicksons Izakaya