|Skateboards and origami cranes on the ceiling at PaperPlanes Bondi, |
Campbell Parade, Bondi Beach
Such are the lofty heights of their success that they’re Bali-bound with a super-charged PaperPlanes concept involving a couple of restaurants and a beachfront club. There’s also talk of New York and other worldly, big cities – there’s no shortage of ambition with this lot.
|The bar and moving specials board|
A young, local contingent of diners and drinkers keep the restaurant busy with a good dose of beach cool, especially in the evenings and Sunday afternoons when there’s live music involving a full size harp.
|Rock, Scissors, Paper cocktail (left) and Harajuku Girl cocktail (right)|
The girly, pink, martini-glassed Harajuku Girl of gin and elderflower liqueur arrived garnished unexpectedly with desiccated coconut, ramping up the sweet, shaken coconut water component and watermelon juice.
|New Zealand deep sea scampi nigiri with ponzu jelly, wasabi soy glazed cucumber, |
fried onion and chives
|PaperPlanes prawn gyoza with creamy lemon wasabi foam, |
crushed wasabi peas and fresh herbs
Both the garnish of crushed, crunchy wasabi peas and the chewy, golden skins were highlights, while the slightly spicy foam matched particularly well with the bouncy, minced prawn filling.
|Orion Draft beer|
|Ine Mankai sake|
The red rice Ine Mankai was surprisingly sweet with cherry and pomegranate notes; and was unlike any sake I've ever sipped.
|Kizan Sanban sake|
My favourite of the tastings was the Mutemuka, which has an earthier, savoury flavour that I think is more traditional than the sweeter styles, while the yeasty Azemura was probably the strongest of the lot.
|Sweet corn on the cob with butter and red miso sauce|
The sweet cobs of corn were grilled and lightly brushed with a complementary mix of red miso sauce and butter – a little unwieldy on the well-cooked skewer but a crowd pleaser nonetheless.
|Chicken thigh fillet with shallot and truffle glaze|
|Chicken meatball with white sesame|
|Crispy chicken skin with white sesame|
|Zucchini with butter, red miso sauce and white sesame|
|Eggplant with butter, red miso sauce and white sesame|
|Braised beef short ribs off bone in yakiniku sauce with pickled vegetable|
I’m not sure exactly how many hours of cooking or how many spices went into the deeply-coloured beef, but I’m positive it was a lot of both. The meat was so soft and tender that it had literally fallen off the bone and was served as a boneless pile of meat that could be eaten with chopsticks.
With sweet braising sauces and the richness of the short rib, I couldn’t think of anything more appropriate than pickled vegetables to go with the beef: the carrot and lotus root were sweet and just sour enough, while the radish was Japanese-style pickled salty.
|Wakame and tofu salad with sesame dressing|
|PP Colada cocktail|
|The black egg – coconut milk curd with macadamia oil and ristretto cocoa sauce|
The 'black egg' wasn't what I had imagined but instead a bowl of jellied coconut milk, light and sweet, with a pooled dollop of slightly nutty and bitter cocoa sauce.
|Green tea rocher layered of ricotta crust, dark chocolate ganache and hazelnut|
|Green tea rocher innards|
Food, booze and shoes dined as a guest of PaperPlanes Bondi, with thanks to Sweaty Betty PR.