Special Magazine Designer Duo Guest Blog - Inside Out's Grace Lee and Country Style's Zoe Doyle

Today I have a special treat from two of my favourite Designers / Japan lovers in my office. I am so excited to say that today Hello Sandwich brings you lovely graphics by talented illustrator Grace Lee (see more of her here and here) and a shiny rice report by writer in the making Zoe Doyle. I hope you will enjoy!

The Shiny Rice Quest by Zoe Doyle

Why is it that anywhere in Japan, even in the most simple of cafes, the rice is always made to perfection? So perfect that even a dessert fiend like me, comes to the conclusion that I could happily live solely on plain rice alone? Good gohan (cooked Japanese rice) should be perfectly sticky, have a glossy sheen and leave you feeling cleansed from consuming a bowl of it. I always struggle coming back to Sydney each year after a trip to Japan as for some reason, our rice just doesn't compare so in my Sydney search for the best 'shiny rice', as I like to call it, here are my top North-side mid-price range picks for the best rice that will make you think you could live on rice alone forever.

Makato Chatswood
Makoto Sushi Bar is probably my favourite Japanese restaurant in Sydney. The lovely manager Sara always welcomes with a huge grin and the staff are ultra attentive. All sushi and food at Makato is brilliant, but their rice is my top Sydney pick. They use a special seasonal blend including Koshihikari and Hikari rice cooked to sticky yet separate grained perfection. The sushi Makato is truly famous for is beyond delicious and very creative. The wait can be a while after you put your name on the list as they don¹t take bookings, so give yourself an extra 10-20 minutes waiting time, but trust me Makato is always worth the wait!
336 Victoria Avenue, Chatswood. Ph: (02) 9411 1838.
(Hello Sandwich's note: I also love Makoto in the city! Oishii!)

Minato Manly
Minato is a humble little restaurant opposite the legendary Manly Wharf. Minato is quintessentially Japanese, simple settings, dark wood floors, beautiful ceramics on display with smooth jazz playing and hidden inside the origami bow on your plate is a new Japanese phrase to learn! Minato is in my opinion the best Japanese on the Northern Beaches, I have friends who travel up to an hour just to eat at this little restaurant! They do some great rice here, although the rest of the menu is delicious as well. My favourites are the seafood platter, which starts with a huge mix of sashimi, nigiri, sushi, salmon and avocado salad, then followed by another tray of tempura, handmade fishcakes and scallops. The Minato roll is also especially tasty, and they do a mean Agedashi tofu which is my ichi ban favourite. Of course, all these dishes are to be enjoyed with a bowl of steaming white rice. Oishii!
47 East Esplanade, Manly. Ph: (02) 9977 0580.

Onaka suita? (hungry?)
Here are a few favourite Sydney Japanese restaurants brought to you by Hello Sandwich:

Wafu Organic, gluten free, dairy free and no refined sugar
Ichi ban boshi Try Olivia's favourite - Hiyashi chuka (which I mentioned here)
Ton Ton Azuma's version of Takeaway - you will love the bento boxes!
Azuma Yasu! Can we please go here for my birthday?
Yoshii or here?
Tetsuya's Say no more
Don don I used to love the healthy California don, which was basically a California roll in a bowl, but now I fear that they have changed owners and the food is not the same :( zan nen!
Sushi bar rashai An authentic Annandale favourite
Sushi suma Cheap and Cheerful Surry Hills Japanese
Sushi samuri Another Cheap and Cheerful one with special teishoku lunch box sets
Ryotei Amazing ramen and onigiri (P.S.While you are over the other side of the bridge, why don't you stock up on Japanese groceries at Tokyo Mart. Complete with a $2.50 section similar to a 100 Yen store in Japan where you can buy kitchen ware, stationery and other home goods - yes please!
Komachi My first Japanese teacher's favourite Japanese restaurant in Sydney! Can you take the ramen challenge?

Well lovelies, I hope you have enjoyed today's post and aren't left feeling too hungry! And if you have a favourite Japanese restaurant anywhere in the world it would be so wonderful if you could leave it in the comments below! Onegaishimasu!

Very special thanks to Miss Gracie and Miss Zoe for your lovely Hello Sandwich contribution! I hope there is many more to come!

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Hello Sandwich