Kin Dining & Bar launches show stopping Nikkei dishes in Marrickville – adults only allowed!

When a bar or restaurant opens, there are always expectations of great headlines due to the food, dining experience or mixology smarts. Head Chef, Peter Wu (ex. Sunset Sabi) found himself in the media spot light for something more unusual – their rule at Kin – no kids allowed for dinner.

Sydney media melted down. What? How bold! Heck yeah! We are rejoycing that we don’t have to dine via candlight listening to a kid at a neighbouring table watching videos on their iphone on full blast, the ulimate child nanny. Chef Wu we salute you and we haven’t even had a mouthful yet.

Let’s chat food. New to Nikkei? (meaning immigrants or descendants). You have probably eaten it an not even realised that Perivian Japanese is a thing, but please don’t call it fusion. Peru was sold by the goverment in the 19th Century as a nivara (the reality was the opposite). This is the food born out of that diasphora many of whom then moved to the US.

We arrive on a Friday night. Kin is situated in an unromantic spot under a commerical building, however once we step inside it’s a different story. The chefs are busy in the open kitchen and the bar team are currently making up eight Pablo Esco Sour’s sours for an all girl table to our right. Lights are low, music is humming, its got an intimate sexy vibe going on.

Three baby golden bricks brioche are topped with a luscious tartare of Jersey cow dry aged beef topped with shavings of cured egg yolk and a dollop of caviar. It sets the tone of that perfect mouthful – crispy, silky, umani, salty and poppable good fun. A bowl of Hiramasa Kingfish cubes ($24) is dark n ‘moody ceviche jumble of yuzu wasabi ponzu and a puncy jalapeño salsa jewelled by pomegranate seeds. Thankfully is not the cookie-cutter ceviche dishe we have had a million times (yawn) but all the more interesting for its cracker accompliment making it feel more like a percetarian gauc and chips.

I can never go past corn ribs, and I make no exception tonight. These are the crack of the vegetable world dripping with miso butter, spiced with Japanese togarashi and showered in fluffy grating of macadamia nuts (not cheese!), I negotiate giving up a dinasour bone of succulent roasted marrow to have them all to myself. My dining partner meanwhile is dipping brioche through a buttery river of oozy parmesan duted marrow. The punchy salsa verde cuts through the richness. This is insane value at $18. A dozen Jervis Bay mussels is plated like oysters and each perfect shell is individually herod with a herby cream. It’s an original dish not seen before and wonderful to see local sustainable mussels assend to more lofty culinary heights.

Around us the restaurant is plunged into darkness. A collective cry of ‘wooo’ erupts then morphs into giggles as the power goes out – there maybe adults in the room but suddenly we experience a childlike moment. The electricity is back on in a minute or so but dining was all the more fun for the drama (though no chef that night would agree with me!

More cocktails please! A generous serve of truffle Mushroom casarecce ($32) seams a bit at odds with the menu but it’s infinitely better than most pasta dishes at Italian restaurants who would charge twice the price. It’s rich with local seasonal mushrooms, perfectly aldente. Delish.

A Nanko negroni with Roku Gin, campari and a fruity Choya Umeshu is well executed setting us up for mains. A generous serve of truffle Mushroom casarecce ($32) appears at odds with the menu, but I couldn’t give a wasabi root – it’s infinitely better than most pasta dishes at Italian restaurants who would easily charge twice the price. It’s rich with seasonal mushrooms and perfectly aldente. Delish. A precision sliced Wollemi free range duck breast is brozened and glistening against a colour palate of corn puree and green chimichurri.

Kin is a great addition to the inner west scene and an example of all the dining elements coming together. It’s not just outstanding Nikkei cuisine, this is as close as you come to striking dining ‘gold’ – perhaps they knew this in advance as Kin means gold in Japanese. It’s a worth medal winner, just leave your kids at home.

Kin Dining and Bar, 359 Illawarra Rd, Marrickville NSW 2204
:Tuesday – Friday: 5pm-10pm, Saturday – Sunday: 12pm-3pm, 5pm-10pm

About the author

Karen’s corporate job back in the UK had included entertaining clients in some of the best restaurants. This ultimately sparked a curiosity 'Just how do they do that?' (she confesses she was brought up on meat and vegetables, so this was all very exciting). Currently a Mr & Mrs Smith 'Tastemaker', she’s flashpacked around the world, learning about wine, experiencing different cultures and cuisines and had a two- year love affair with it all. Originally from England, she finally settled in Australia and continues to be besotted by food, wine and travel preferring to focus on the luxury end of town (thread count does matter).