Japanese food is known for its attention to flavour and presentation. In a culture where omotenashi is highly valued, Japanese restaurants are where you can expect to pay slightly more for food that is made with the highest attention. Sekka Dining was opened by Hideto Suzuki (of Ichibandori fame) and Libras Ting. Located in St Leonards Square, 472 Pacific Highway, this Izakaya serves a menu that features exquisite small plates, yakitori, and flavourful ramen.
Japanese food in St Leonards
Sekka Dining is a modern addition to the global community of restaurants in the North Shore. Right from its neon-lit logo, you can tell that its vibe is edgy and sophisticated. Stepping in, you’re met with glowing lighting and polished interior decor. There’s a sleek marble finish that characterises the restaurant. An expectation is already set that this place is serious about its food and service.
True to its Izakaya-theme, the menu offers a variety of small snacks and alcoholic drinks. There is no ambitious catering to all Japanese types of cooking. You won’t see tempura, sushi or donburi options available. Instead, Sekka focuses on a smaller selection, where they can prioritise an experience that brings out the umami of each dish.
Ramen in the North Shore
Chef Suzuki, drawing experience from his successful ventures, focuses on two main types of broth in his ramen: paitan (thick and cloudy) and chintan (clear and light). These come alive with flavour options such as tonkotsu, soy and chicken. Compared with typical ramen in the North Shore, Sekka’s offerings are more experimental with its choice of ingredients. We had never seen a Cold Mango Ramen before, nor a Pork Neck Soy Ramen with apple sauce.
The Hojicha Smoked Duck Ramen combines the broth of a 16-month old rooster with a medley of umami-focused ingredients. The result is a bowl of soup that you could say kanpai with. The noodles were the right level of chewiness too. We had truly been umami-ed.
Izakaya and Yakitori in Sydney
In true Izakaya style, Sekka Dining is a comfortable space for drinks and conversation. The interior is stylish and the staff are friendly. The grill sizzles with mouthwatering meat and vegetable options. In an area popular with professional workers, a pork belly or chicken thigh skewer is the perfect comfort food after work. For a more nuanced taste, you could try the okra & katsuobushi skewer.
We’d recommend booking a seat at the bar counter as the views are great. You can see the whole kitchen in action. Considering how tasty our dishes were, we thoroughly enjoyed watching the chefs prepare different menu selections. Watching our pacific oysters, we were curious to see that the preparation involved liquid being poured into each shell. Served onto our table, the combination turned out to be citrus vinaigrette and ponzu dressing. It was a mouthful of tangy delight.