Gaku Robata Grill
Chef Haru Inukai was once behind the now-closed Sussex Centre’s beloved Ramen Ikkyu and the French-Japanese fine diner Blancharu. This endeavour is a robata grill (a Japanese method of charcoal-grill cooking) and ramen restaurant in Darlinghurst opened with ex-Aria chef Shimon Hanakura.
This is a restaurant in two halves. There are stools at the bar overlooking the robata grill and a glass ingredient display. The rest is a modernised version of the classic Japanese izakaya – dark, intimate and only decorated by sake bottles and old Japanese ornaments.
The food incorporates French sauces into Japanese recipes and high-end ingredients, such as truffles, caviar and 9+ marbled Wagyu. Think bouillabaisse karaage, bonito and soy-dressed burrata, or smoked clay-pot duck with fresh truffle.
There is also ramen, including a tart yuzu-spiced duck broth with duck meatballs, and a chicken tonkotsu. There are also izakaya-style sides: edamame, karaage chicken and gyoza. The bar shakes Japanese cocktails and the wine list is by Aria sommelier Ian Trinkle.