The February issue

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Recipes by Christine Manfield
21.02.2017

As the '90s dawned, darling chefs were pushing the boundaries of cooking in this country. A young Christine Manfield, just starting out at this heady time, soon became part of the generation that redefined modern Australian cuisine. She shares some of her timeless signatures from the era.

Cirrus, Sydney review
20.02.2017

Cirrus moves the Bentley team down to the water and into more lighthearted territory without sacrificing polish, writes Pat Nourse.

How to grow rocket
20.02.2017

A vegetable patch without rocket lacks a great staple, according to Mat Pember. The perennial performer is a leaf for all seasons.

50BestTalks brings World’s best chefs to Sydney and Melbourne
16.02.2017

Massimo Bottura and more are coming to the Sydney Opera House.

Toby Wilson, Sean McManus and Jon Kennedy to open Bad Hombres
16.02.2017

Expect Mexican-Asian flavours and an all-natural wine list from two of Sydney’s edgier operators.

Local Knowledge: Moscow
16.02.2017

Director of Shakespeare theatre company Cheek by Jowl Declan Donnellan walks us through the essential sights and his favourite cafes and restaurants of his hometown.

On the Pass: Danielle Rensonnet
16.02.2017

Bellota chef Danielle Rensonnet talks us through the current menu at the restaurant and her favourite summer ingredients.

Melbourne's Tomato Festival is back in 2017
15.02.2017

Returning for another year, Melbourne’s Tomato Festival is ripe with cooking demonstrations, talks, and produce stalls dedicated to plump produce.

The Apollo's guide to Ginza

Ginza, Tokyo

Ginza, Tokyo

The Apollo team has repeated the success of its Sydney restaurant in Japan, opening the hottest Greek restaurant Tokyo has ever seen. Somewhere along the way, chef Jonathan Barthelmess found time to explore Ginza, his new stomping ground. Here are his picks of the neighbourhood.

Japan has to be one of the most exciting places in the world to eat. There are so many perfectionists here who do one thing very well, and have been doing so for generations. Everyone is so dedicated; I can't name anyone who's done one thing for generations in our industry in Australia.

We settled on Japan to open The Apollo because if you can do it there, you can do it anywhere. I'd visited several times with the chefs and we did a lot of research for Cho Cho San. Since we've opened The Apollo we can be in Ginza working on a Greek menu and, at the same time, gather Japanese inspiration for Cho Cho San. It's a good flow. Every time we're there we see something new; maybe new cooking techniques, like the way they use charcoal, or something brand new at the market.

Ginza, which is in the heart of Tokyo, is more spread out than other areas, more of a business district. It's close to the fish markets and there are plenty of izakayas under the train stations, which stay open until five in the morning, but there are more formal Michelin-rated restaurants as well that wind up around 10pm, so it's a good mix. You can have a really good meal for $5 or $150 - it's very diverse. In some areas you feel like an alien, it's so incredibly different, but it's great to feel that. I love it.

Here are a few of the places I've discovered that I like the most:

Hashigo for ramen
Hashigo is all about dan dan ramen, a spicy ramen style based on China's dan dan noodles. There's a choice of roast pork, fried pork, chicken or vegetarian with a spicy sesame or soy broth and three levels of heat. My favourite, though, is the cold spicy sesame noodles.
8-10-7 Ginza, Chuo, Tokyo

Yajima for sushi
This spot isn't actually in Ginza, but in Shibuya. It's a sushi bar that's been around for 52 years. The husband does all the fish, his wife cooks the eggs and rice. It's very fast paced, to the point where you're told to hurry up if you're not eating fast enough. You have a choice of nine or 12 pieces and you are in and out in 15 or 20 minutes, paying around $40 all up. The secret of the house is ageing the fish.
1 Chome-26-31 Higashi, Shibuya, Tokyo

Ginza Shimada
This is a little izakaya with room only for about 12 people. You have to stand to eat and the guys prepare everything in front of you. My favourite dish is the koshihikari rice with egg, parmesan and seasoned soy.
8 Chome-4-17 Ginza, Chuo, Tokyo

Narutomi for soba noodles
At this soba and tempura restaurant, the soba noodles are made in-house twice daily. The tempura selection consists of seasonal vegetables and seafood, and this place is absolute perfection. You'll need to be introduced by a member to get into the restaurant, however - we were rejected the first time we went.
Futaba Bldg, 1F, 8-16-6 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo

Ginza Music Bar
Here is a fun little nightclub with different DJs playing every night - all vinyl - great drinks, very small.
7 Chome-8-13 Ginza, Chuo, Tokyo, ginzamusicbar.com

 

The Apollo Ginza, 11F, Tokyu Plaza Ginza, 5-2-1, Ginza, Chuo-ku Tokyo, theapollo.jp

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