Friday 25 May 2018

Sydney Gastronomy - A DVD swap in an unlikely location R K San, Cleveland Street.

The lunch was a bit celebratory, a handover of some discs of movies by the lesser known but interesting Delmer Daves, an unsubtitled copy of Claude Sautet's Garçon last sighted at the 1984 Sydney Film Festival and a couple of the films from 1950 that the then named Cyril Endfield made in the USA, The Sound of Fury/Try and Get Me!  and The Underworld Story. The latter two are fierce in their obvious opposition to mob rule, devious journalists and witch hunts led by self-interested media barons and caused Cyril's name to become mud and contributed to his re-location to the UK a year or so later.

But the swap was rather overshadowed by the celebratory lunch in a place in the backblocks of Surry Hills on the unfashionable Cleveland Street.

R K Tamang
There, a couple of years ago, a young Nepali chef named R K Tamang opened up a place that looks just like any number of those drinking and eating places you see in Ozu movies - a long bench with seating on stools set up against the kitchen area and an interior with table seating. He has called it "RK San".

Here RK experiments with his own variations on classic Japanese dishes, regularly changing his menu and offering specials that he's sometimes still working on. On a quiet day, and lunches are usually pretty quiet in this neck of the woods, RK does it all himself, cooking and serving and discussing what might be the best wine accompaniment to any dish.

We ate grandly. A dish of marinated and spiced raw fish with some accompanying finely sliced potato chips, what he called a 'bouillabaisse' with big chunks of snapper in a miso-based syrup, some delicious pieces of squid fried in a tempura batter and some steamed pork belly in a bed of fine sweet potato mash. 

'...signature dish' (served in an ashtray!)
Then there were two of his signature dishes - what RK calls cigars - a fine cigar-shaped pastry stuffed with tiny pieces of spiced raw fish, nestling in a bed of coals on top of a pink mayonnaise. Stunning presentation. One was filled with snapper, the other with salmon. Superb stuff.

He has a good wine list as well which only one of us delved into.

You come across a gem every now and again and this was one of them.

The restaurant website, with some gorgeous looking photos of its unique dishes can be found if you click here

Ozu on Cleveland Street, RK San

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