Jones Bay Wharf, 19-21 Pirrama Rd, Pyrmont NSW 2009
Chuuka Chuuka Boom Boom
“Chinese flavours. Japanese precision. Victor Liong and Chase Kojima have joined forces to create food like you’ve never seen before. What is CHUUKA? CHUUKA is marching to the beat of your own drum. CHUUKA is a world of contrasts that defies categorisation. CHUUKA is CHUUKA.”
Restaurant life looking great matched with good service, a lovely view of the Harbour Bridge and a promising menu at this former Flying Fish restaurant location. I fondly remember back in the good old days of blogging when tweetups were a thing.
It's their first day and my preference for the Wood cocktail of barrel-aged & hickory-smoked shiso umeshu, Bulleit rye, Campari ($19) is unfortunately not yet available so opted for the Japanese Gin & Tonic ($16) using a Japanese style gin from Cambridge Distillery with juniper, shiso leaf, sesame seeds, cucumber, sansho and yuzu. A lovely drop but I'm not a fan of the glassware style as the ice tends to fall onto your face when you get to the end of your drink unless you're using a straw. I much prefer my gin and tonics in tumbler style glasses for a more relaxing drink experience #firstworldproblems. To start Pacific oyster, bonito soy yuzu, spring onion oil ($5) have a tasty dressing that makes up for them being preshucked. Oyster lovers will still appreciate the balance of flavours to compliment the oyster's creaminess.
CHUUKA ‘Ebi Chilli’, stir-fried prawn, chilli miso butter, Japanese milk buns ($42) comes with 6 large prawns. You'll also get 6 milk buns. I was given 4 in this instance but could have asked for the other 2. I would have loved to take the left over buns home for the kids but unfortunately takeaway not allowed at the restaurant. Sauce was tasty with a pleasant hum of chilli. The perfectly soft buns served warm are handy to mop up the sauce. Prawn texture wasn't quite as firm as preferred on this occasion but after mentioning to the chef he has since made amendments in the kitchen to rectify for the better. Good use of the cleaned out prawn heads which have been fried to a decent crisp for added texture and to enjoy eating whole. Dish best shared between at least 2-3 people.
Chase’s ‘Tempura Yuzu Chicken’, dried chilli, sweet & sour yuzu sauce ($24) is apparently one of their signature dishes. Tasty flavour reminding me of a sweet & sour sauce with some chilli heat but it's not as angry as it looks unless you bite on the dried chillis. Pleasant crisp batter that adds some crunch to the dish. My only suggestion would be keeping the chicken pieces a touch smaller to make it easier to pickup and eat with the chopsticks gracefully. A good one to share between 3-4 people.
The menu is designed to share and dishes are served in the order they're ready. I think best suited for dining as a table of 4 to try a few things. Wine by the glass starts from $13 for whites and $16 for reds. Decor looking good for business lunches but families seem welcome as well when I spot a baby change table available in the toilet.