Home > American, Japanese, Mexican, Syd: Surry Hills, Sydney, Tapas > Izakaya Fujiyama, Surry Hills

Izakaya Fujiyama, Surry Hills

There has been a lot of hype and talk about Izakaya Fujiyama, a new Japanese bar and restaurant opened by Chef Kenji Maenaka who is exBodega. Izakaya Fujiayama is located on Waterloo Street, right next door to El Capo and of course Orto Trading Co. I was catching up with a couple of my favourite peeps, the fashionable, DC, Uncle and the gorgeous E. There’s no booking policy so made sure I rocked up a little early to get a table. I love the open bar with lots of sake bottles.

The menu is quite simple, think the sake list is more impressive! Four hungry diners thought we would pick a dish each. Started with the miso cured tofu ($6.50) – served cold, topped with a very nice salty miso.

Fish namban ($12) – fried snapper Japanese escabeche. Lightly battered and deep-fried, the snapper fillets were tender, it was nice but nothing special I thought.


DC had a piece of the mackerel sushi ($3.50).

Uncle opted for the salmon and avocado hand-roll ($4.50), which turned out to be a maki roll. Think Uncle was a little disappointed as he was expecting something like a Makoto hand-roll.


A must have is the KFC – Kenji’s Fried Chicken ($13.50) – karaage chicken with mayonnaise. The fried chicken was so moist, and moreish. Drizzled with lemon and dipped in mayo – DELISH!


The pork belly with miso ($18.50) – steamed pork belly with hoba miso and baked eggplant really had my name on it! Tender, succulent steamed pork belly – goddamn it – it was melt-in-mouth excellent and I love the miso paste and the baked eggplant – fantastic! It was hard to not demolish this on my own!

However, the highlight of the evening for all of us was the jaw – the grilled king fish jaw and ponzu ($32). It was the biggest jaw I have ever seen, it was GIGANTIC! I didn’t realise there were so much flesh in the jaw! We all sat there, in silence, picking out all the flesh, and if I was dining at home, I would have picked up the bones at the end and ‘gnawed’ it – yes – classy I know!

Dessert, we shared the chocolate cake with quince ($11.50), warm chocolate cake with baked quince and condensed milk ice cream. The chocolate cake was rich, gooey and a little too sickly for me, however, I did like the sweet baked quince and the condensed milk ice cream.

We also shared the tea ceremony ($11.50) – vanilla bean ice cream with green tea kokuto syrup and red bean! The green tea syrup from memory was warm, I have to say, we ate this quite quickly! I would have preferred the ice cream to be green tea though.


Service was ok, I don’t think we were impressed that we got rushed out. It wasn’t a busy evening, no queues outside but was asked to leave, as we were presented with the bill even though we didn’t ask for it. We were all still quite peckish but nothing on the menu really ‘grabbed’ us. The jaw and the pulled pork were the highlights for me, but everything else was nice but no ‘wow’ factor. There were so much hype that I had HIGH expectations, and unfortunately, for me, it didn’t live up to it.

E suggested that we should drop by for some scotch eggs at Orto for round two, but unfortunately, they were fully booked so I suggested fried chicken at the Dip. Still amazed that they all agreed, I think we were all still quite hungry .. so off we went.

It was the first time for E and Uncle at The Dip. It was Friday evening and the place was packed and happening! We scored the last table and ordered round two of dinner!

D couldn’t go past the southern smoke ($12) – 12 hour smoked pulled pork sandwich with bbq beans, apple and cabbage slaw on a steamed white roll. Definitely our favourites!


E was craving hot dog so got Lev’s Dawg ($12) – smoked kosher hot dog with chipotle mayo, fresh tomato salsa, grilled yellow peppers and american mustard on a steamed bun. I have had this before and enjoyed it but still do prefer the southern smoke.


Uncle and I wanted fried chicken – the special on Friday’s (?) – four drumsticks with fries. Lucky he stopped at me at two boxes, I had suggested four boxes! ONE EACH! Not sure what I was thinking. Crispy, crunchy batter, chicken meat was tender, could be more tender I think. Still, it wasn’t too bad – love fried chicken!


I think the fried chicken and hot dog helped – we were both stuffed! Although, I think Uncle could definitely have eaten some more! ‘The Mother’ had a bucks night that evening, he said that he contemplated of calling me at 3am to ask if I would join him and the boys for some lobster at Golden Century. The scary thing is, if he did call, I would have walked down and joined him. If I did – that would be THREE rounds of dinner – and I wonder why I am not thin as a stick!

Regardless of being ushered out, it was a wonderful evening, never a dull moment with the fashionable DC, Uncle and the gorgeous E!

GA’s ratings: Izakaya Fujiyama: 6.5 / 10

51 Waterloo St Shop G09

Surry Hills 2010

Ph: +61 2 9698 2797

Izakaya Fujiyama on Urbanspoon

GA’s ratings: The Dip: 7.5 / 10

55 Liverpool St

Sydney 2000

Ph: +61 2 9283 8792

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  1. August 16, 2011 at 1:25 am

    That’s a shame about Izakaya Fujiyama as I wanted to go soon, may have to change tactics and head to The Dip instead. The fried chicken and chips look great. Lol, I would of went for the lobster, you can always walk it off on the way home 🙂

    • August 16, 2011 at 2:50 am

      hey dumpling girl, it sure it! cause we were having such a good time talking and laughing that it was a shame they ‘kicked’ us out especially when they were no queues! definitely go to The Dip! the fried chicken and even the pulled pork sandwich is awesome!!!! LOL yes – i would have gone.. i mean lobster? how can i say no? lol

  2. August 16, 2011 at 1:31 am

    I wonder why you were rushed out of the Izakaya so quickly – that’s bad form. I’m going here next Thursady so I hope that doesn’t happen to us. Part of eating out is relaxing and chattign with friends!

    Love The Dip – nearly did a second dinner there myself recently, but it was raining so hard we missed the street it was on and ended up at the QVB. Doh.

    • August 16, 2011 at 2:51 am

      hey miss piggy! hope u dont get ushered out! but yes – the enjoyment of eating is relaxing and chatting with friends…. keen to hear your thoughts.

      oh i love the dip too… its just too close to home. have had to resist many many times!

  3. August 16, 2011 at 1:48 am

    Two meals in one night…! Love the KFC…!

  4. August 16, 2011 at 2:46 am

    wow, your uncle sounds like a country bumpkin! he hasn’t been to The Dip? tsk tsk… you should take the ‘elderly’ out more often… they don’t get out much if no one takes them.
    on another note, you are right about this place. whilst everything was pretty, it just lacked soul. the food was passable… and that hand roll – seriously! just because you roll it with your hands, doesn’t make it a hand roll. rather ok sushi.

    the fried chicken certainly is a winner on friday nights at the dip! it’s a shame you guys were still hungry. i did find that there’s little (or nothing) on the menu that makes me want to go back…

    • August 16, 2011 at 2:52 am

      i always ask uncle to come out! he needs to go out more thats for sure.. will do a revolving food with the gorgeous E too!

      ya it was a shame really, had high expectations, maybe too high but the fried chicken… had the leftovers for brekkie and there were yummmyyyyyy

  5. August 16, 2011 at 5:48 am

    I also thought that the ‘hand roll’ was a rip off. Nothing spesh. UGHHH. I’d happily take that $5 to El Loco/ The Dip!

    • August 16, 2011 at 7:14 am

      i hear u! glad i went to check it out but dont think i will be back…. the company was infinitely better!

  6. September 6, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    The KFC looks good but seems the Jap pl are more on the $$ side

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