An invitation to get to know Japan in Sydney
Japan and its unique culture continue to fascinate thousands of Australians, and whether it be food, fashion, beauty or traditional arts, more and more are seeking it out at home.
The Ultimate Japanese Staycation Guide takes a tour of the Japanese cultural scene in Sydney, which is responding to what the Japanese would describe as a ‘love-call’ from everyday Aussies with fresh, authentic stores, food trends and more. See how easy it is to slot a taste of everyday Japan into the Australian lifestyle, and make it more multicultural than ever before – get set to begin your Japanese staycation in 3…2…1…
Say TGIF, Japanese style!
Glorious Friday nights eating and drinking Japanese goodness
No matter how different our cultures may be, there is one thing that is true for both Australian and Japanese people: we all love a good Friday night feed, with a drink…or two. Down Under, many welcome Fridays with a big ‘Thank God it’s Friday (TGIF)’, or ‘Fri-yay!’ The Japanese like to refer to Fridays as ‘hana no kinyobi’, or ‘hana-kin’ for short. This loosely translates to Glorious Friday – which is the ideal Friday that anyone, Aussie or Japanese, could want.
Sydney’s biggest ramen restaurant chain, Ippudo, has a glorious line-up of Japanese food and drinks on their menu that is worthy of your hana-kin. Ippudo is known worldwide for their ramen, but what you may not know is that their menu is just as abundant with other tasty, shareable dishes.
Ippudo restaurants even have their own branded sake at the ready for those keen to give the Japanese rice wine a go; their Sydney Westfield restaurant comes with a fully stocked bar, while others also stock a selection of Japanese beers, sake and wine too.
The selection of dishes on Ippudo’s menu in addition to ramen have been carefully selected to please Australian taste buds, and provide options that those who aren’t too big on ramen can enjoy. The two absolute stars, loved and available at all of the restaurants, are karaage chicken and gyoza dumplings.
For most Japanese, hana-kin is all about enjoying great food with some drinks. So if you’re in the mood for some me-time, the go-to, very-Japanese-menu-choice would be to start with a plate of gyoza and a beer; then perhaps another beverage or two, rounded off with a hearty bowl of ramen.
When it’s time to get festive on a Friday night, the done thing is to choose at least three or four of Ippudo’s non-ramen dishes – often starting with some gyoza dumplings, freshening up with ‘goma q’ cucumber – or even going straight for their signature buns.
Whether you’re looking to wind down or turn it up for the weekend, start it off with a satisfying hana-kin experience at Ippudo!